Accra, March 10, GNA - Dr Elias Esiama, a Lecturer at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, on Thursday called for community involvement in the protection of sacred forests to ensure the preservation of plants for medicinal use.
He said the depletion of Ghana's forest reserves posed great hindrances to the production of indigenous plant medicine, which complemented orthodox medicine, for quality health care.
Dr Asiama was opening a nine-day exhibition to focus on plant medicines and their efficacy as curative and preventive medicines. The exhibition showcases diverse plants and literatures on their usefulness. Some of the plants include the neem, mango, guava, pawpaw, orange, pear, cocoa and the lime trees, which are panaceas for the treatment of malaria, jaundice, worming, measles, diabetes and coughs. Dr Esiama said it had become obvious that plant medicine had to be encouraged as the way forward to provide quality health care and reduce poverty among local communities.
He therefore, urged community leaders, local government authorities as well as traditional authorities to intensify efforts to ensure forest preservation through reforestation and further institute measures to punish those who destroyed the forest for monetary gains.
Dr Esiama noted that though indigenous plant medicine had contributed immensely to the cure of several illnesses that most orthodox medicines had failed to cure, it had gained little scientific recognition.