The ministry of health has been urged to include traditional medicines in the list of approved medications on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
President of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM), Kojo Odum Eduful, made the appeal to the Ministry of Health to accredit traditional medicine practitioners as service providers for the scheme.
Mr Eduful’s call was made at the Association’s 4th national election year congress in Accra, a congress held under the theme: “Ensuring 100% inclusion of Traditional Medicine Practice into the mainstream healthcare system in Ghana.”
In a speech read on behalf of the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, he emphasised the need to forge effective collaboration between his ministry, its agencies and the traditional medicine practitioners.
He said such collaboration must ensure that the federation’s self-regulatory activities are geared towards quality, safe and efficacious health products and practices.
“The ministry is collaborating with its stakeholders and partners to provide the needed support in getting the essential herbal medicines to list unto the NHIS scheme towards the development of traditional medicine in these times of dwindling resources,” the minister’s statement read.
He said as a ministry, their passion of formalising the use of traditional medical practice as a viable Healthcare alternative in Ghana has led to the scale-up of 19 herbal centres to 34 herbal centres across the country.
Congratulating the newly executives of the association, the minister urged them to be circumspect in their utterances and modus operandi as well as conduct themselves professionally in the course of providing services to their clients, devoid of any acrimony.
Also speaking at the event was Dr Dorcas Sarfo from the University of Ghana Chemistry Department who stressed the importance of herbal medicines and the need for its adoption and usage.
‘Most diseases we are battling with in recent times can also be prevented with the use of these herbal medicines,’’ he noted.
Dr Dorcas Sarfo, however, called on government, researchers and other stakeholders to support the association and what it stands for.
“We need support in the form of funds, testimonials, public acceptance of these medicines and laboratories to run a test on the safety of these herbal medicines,” he said.
The Congress elected 22 new executives who were sworn in to steer the affairs of the federation.