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27.02.2006 Health

Recognition of herbal medicine is not enough - Pharmacist

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Accra, Feb. 27, GNA - A pharmacist on Sunday said it was not enough for governments to give recognition to herbal medicine when little was being done to sponsor and promote research in the field. Mr George Daniel Koranteng, Managing Director of Apaak Traditional Medicine and Clinic, said governments in recent times had given recognition to herbalists and other traditional practitioners challenging them to come out with remedies for key diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and malaria.

However, support for production and research had become a major problem, he said.

Mr Koranteng made these remarks at the ongoing 10th Ghana International Trade Fair in Accra when the company launched a new herbal medicinal product named "Ozim Ozim Bitters" an aphrodisiac. Besides, he said, the product also helped to break down food for easy assimilation and absorption and curing of irregular and painful menstruation.

Mr Koranteng said records showed that about 65 per cent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa still relied on traditional medicine for their survival and sustenance.

"As a nation with malaria as the leading cause of death, we are still struggling with the West to help to solve our malaria problem." Mr Koranteng said ever since the European missionaries developed the quinine from the Cinchona tree in the 17th Century and the US Military introducing Chloroquine in 1943, local orthodox practice had not found local panacea for malaria. He said several attempts had been made by people, including the Chinese, yet the situation had not improved. "What are Africans doing to help themselves if it is known worldwide that Africans are the sufferers?"

About 800 exhibitors, made up of 700 local firms and 100 foreign ones, are showcasing their products at the two-week fair on the theme: "Networking to Unlock Ghana's Trade Potentials."