The Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched two key policy documents on herbal medicine to improve the process of integrating the sub-sector into the national health care delivery system.
The policy documents are the list of herbal medicines recommended by the Department of Health and the basic procedure for the evaluation of the efficacy and safety of herbal medicine products.
In a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the two policies in Accra yesterday, Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said that given the important contribution of herbal medicine over the years, the integration correct sector in the health system would improve the results of health care delivery.
He said the two policies were part of the government’s commitment to the growth of traditional medical practice and herbal medicine.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said another demonstration of the importance the government attached to herbal medicine was the inclusion of the two policies in the 2022 budget.
He said that in the planning of the integration, institutionalization, professionalization and rational use of herbal medicines, it became necessary to select from among the herbal medicines registered with the Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA) and to give market authorization to compose the list of drugs recommended for use in the management of common health problems and strengthening the therapeutic area where better drugs were needed.
Over the years, we have seen the evolution and reinvention of traditional medicine in its various forms, to play a truly important role in the delivery of health care in the country.
“It is not by chance, it is the result of a deliberate policy aimed at redefining and encouraging the strengthening of the capacities and capacities of the different actors in the sector,” he said.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu said the government will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that traditional medicine in the country continues to improve to the level of global recognition.
“The standardization, efficacy and safety of herbal medicines have become major concerns for policy makers and the general population regarding their consumption and their absolute dependence on human health.
“Although we are dealing with natural products, which in most cases are consumed as food, such as ‘prekese’, ‘dawadawa’, ginger among many other herbal products, we have to understand that when we intend to use them in very large quantities, so we have to make sure that the product goes through a series of tests to establish quality, safety and efficacy, ”the minister said.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu said that the development of the basic procedure for evaluating the efficacy and safety of herbal medicine products has also been developed to, among other things, respond positively to the health needs of the population with unique products. that were accessible, safe, efficient, affordable and compatible with modern science and technology.
The director in charge of the Department of Traditional and Alternative Medicines at the ministry, Dr Anastasia Yirenkyi, said the feat marked the advancement of herbal medicines in the country.
She said the sector had made great strides over the years and that the launch of the two policy documents would serve as a stimulus to bring the traditional medicine sector into its next phase of practice in the country.
“The potential contribution of herbal medicine to the national health system, especially the delivery of primary health care, cannot be underestimated, especially in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
Dr Yirenkyi said that in order to ensure rational distribution of traditional medicines in health facilities, it was necessary to prepare the recommended herbal medicine list policy document to serve as a guideline.
She said the documents would also facilitate further research on traditional medicines to help provide universal health coverage.
The President of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners’ Associations, Mr. William Odum Eduful, expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders who contributed to the development of the two documents, in particular Mr. Agyeman-Manu.
He also agreed that the documents would improve the use of traditional medicine for better health outcomes.
Mr. Eduful, however, called on the minister to facilitate the inclusion of the list in the national health insurance program for easy access by the population.