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12.08.2005 Health

Traditional healers appeal to Gov't for council


Kumasi, Aug. 12, GNA - An urgent appeal has been made to the Government to expedite action on the establishment and inauguration of the Traditional Medicine Practice Council as required by Act 575 of 2000.

The Ashanti Regional Branch of the Ghana National Association of Traditional Healers, who made the appeal, said in-spite of the numerous reminders and pleas about implementation of the Act, nothing concrete has yet been done about it.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued by the Association, and read by its chairman, Mrs. Julian Nkrumah Gyimah, at a press conference held in Kumasi on Friday, to make public their concern about delay in setting up the council.

The Association contended that, the setting up of the council was crucial since it has the responsibility to not only promote and control, but also regulate traditional medicinal practice.

"Such a council also has the mandate to establish an institute for herbal medicine, to train "school leavers in the vocational category, as well as updating skills of existing traditional healers", they observed. The Association was also of the conviction that the institute that would be set up by the council, could be used to facilitate inspection of herbal clinics, and more importantly, the testing of herbal preparations for their efficacy and safety.

Members of the Association also proposed to the government to consider involving small herbal clinicians under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), so that people who choose herbal medicine for treatment of their diseases, will also get their bills reimbursed by the scheme.

The statement disclosed that currently, the Association was in the process of preparing a manual of herbal medicine practice, to help upgrade the knowledge of clinicians in patient history taking, diagnosis and dispensing.

Mr Francis Anane, the Kumasi District Chairman of the Association, advised members to begin to cultivate their own herbal plants for their medicines rather than relying solely on the natural environment for such materials.