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"Traditional Medicine Is Considered An Integral Part Of Our Healthcare Delivery" - Health Minister

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu has revealed that traditional medicine is considered an integral part of Ghana's healthcare delivery.


According to the Minister, Traditional Medicine remains readily available, acceptable, easily accessible and affordable healthcare option for many Ghanaians.


On a speech read on his behalf, the Director, Procurement and Supply Chain, Ministry of Health, Dr. Edward Bright Agyekum said "Today, looking back the last twenty (20) years, Traditional medicine is considered an integral part of our healthcare delivery"


"Hence, today's celebration is one that gives us the opportunity to reflect on our progress in the sector as a readily available, safe and efficacious healthcare"


The statement added that for the past two decades, Ghana has seen substantial growth in Traditional medicine as a viable option in the health and welfare of the good people of Ghana.


He also revealed that Ghana has an enviable directorate the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Directorate (TAMD) which is mandated to develop Traditional and Alternative medicine policies to sprearhead and drive growth in the sector.


Dr. Agyekum noted that Ghana has been developing Traditional Medicine policies over the last two decades.


"In 2011, the policy was implemented beginning with 18 selected government hospitals. Undr the leadership of the current government, the Integration policy has seen an increase from 19 to 55 government health facilities"


"In 2021, over 30 Medical Herbalists were posted by the government to various hospitals to superintend at these Herbal units at the various hospitals"


"In the same year, two essential Traditional Medicine policy documents were also duly published and launched; the second edition of the recommended Herbal Medicines List (RHML) and Basic Procedures for the Assessment of Efficacy and Safety of Herbal Medicinal Products"


The statement also mentioned that the Ministry of Helath will continue to sprearhead the development of Traditional Medicine as a critical sector for the country to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).


On her part, the Deputy Minister for Health, Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah said "Ghana as a matter of urgency is aligned with SDG target 3.8, which focuses on achieving universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all"


She stressed that the Traditional Medicine and Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMPs) could make significant contributions to the attainment of universal health coverage (UHC).


"As we can see from above and the role Traditional Medicine played in COVID-19, we can tell that Traditional Medicine has paid its dues in delivering primary healthcare"


She also mentioned that Ghana recognises the many benefits of Traditional Medicine and the current government is poised to ensure that it reaches its full height in development.


"We continually call on the various agencies, institutions and business enterprises to invest in Herbal/Traditional Medicine"


Delivering a situational report on Traditional Medicine, the Director, Traditional and Alternative Medicine, Dr. Anastasia Michaelina Yirenkyi said "The Traditional Health Systems as practised by our forebearers were based on Faith based, a knowledge system which was originated from God.


"Believe Systems, a method of receiving knowledge through apprenticeship, observation, visions, dreams, spiritual possessions designed to assist society with dealing with the imbalances of man with his environment as a whole"


She also cited cultural heritage as another means used by forebears to heal people.


"Traditional birth attendants safely delivered babies without modern health care and still do in some deprived communities without proper health care in the country"


She added that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of persons rely on traditional medicine for their health care.


Taking his turn, Founder of COA Mixture and newly elected GHAFTRAM President, Prof Duncan said "We are the COA researchand manufacturing limited, are proud to be associated with this celebration because of its significance in promoting traditional medicine"


He added that the World Health Organization in 2003, a called on African governments to accord formal recognition to Traditional Medicine, create an enabling environment for each practice and integrate it into their National Health Systems.


"The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the various institutions on these strides in the integration of herbal and orthodox herbal medicines in Ghana"


He called on all practitioners and the media to come on board to strive and develop traditional medicine in Ghana to achieve the higher standards.

Fraternal messages were received from the FDA, CPMR, MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENTS' GROUP, TMPC, GHAMPA, CHINESE MEDICAL TEAM, PSGH AND GAMH.


Citations were presented to the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu and his Deputy Minister, Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah.


Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith


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