The Agbeve Herbal Hospital was on Wednesday commissioned in Accra with a call on the Government to streamline the National Health Insurance policy to incorporate herbal medicinal practice for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
Alhaji Mohammed Agbeve, Chief Executive of the Hospital, who made the call suggested to the Government to start the process on a pilot basis to “see how best herbal practice could be factored into the health delivery system”.
The five-story edifice had six units, namely; physiotherapy, nutrition, pharmacy, laboratory, scan and fitness units in that order.
It has 25 staff including two herbal doctors, a nutritionist and 10 nurses in addition to three consulting rooms, a female and male wards each.
Alhaji Agbeve said his centre, formerly called Agbeve Herbal Centre was established in 1993 and with hard work by staff achieved the current status of an ultra-modern hospital which would treat all diseases, except HIV and AIDS as well as psychiatry diseases.
“This befitting ultramodern herbal Hospital would render services by introducing laboratory, scan and other health facilities to enhance her service delivery. It will also incorporate a standard gym for physical exercises, to keep her patients fit. We will emphasize on proper diet and healthy living”.
He appealed to successive governments to consider implementing strategic policies that would help in the growth of the herbal industry, adding , herbal manufacturers and practitioners should also be given grant to support and expand their operations as they compliment government efforts of providing total health delivery services to its citizens.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chire, Minister of Health, in a speech read for him by Mr Samuel Boateng a Director at MOH, said elevating herbal medicine to new heights in Ghana was a serious concern for the Government because it was fully aware that Ghana stood to benefit enormously from the industry if appropriate steps were taken to develop and harness its potentials.
“Harnessing the immense potential of traditional medicine offers the health sector a unique opportunity to improve the health of the peoples, as well as opening up vast opportunities for research into plant medicines for the development of traditional medicine”, he noted.
Mr Yieleh Chire, however, said in spite of the industry’s huge opportunities, significant progress was required in terms of increasing the quality standards of production and understandable concerns regarding the impact of increased quality requirements.
He stressed the need for private sector collaboration especially in the successful use of traditional medicine alongside western medicine, which he noted was a sure way to improve the health of the people.
He said the Government would ensure regulation, education and training, research and development of improved traditional medicines on the health sector agenda.
He congratulated management of the hospital “for looking into the future now and investing in this complete one-stop centre for the prevention, diagnosis, curative and rehabilitation of the affected “.
Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Youth and Sports, said the centre should also accommodate those who were not really sick but needed to undertake physical exercises in order to ensure healthy lifestyles, adding, sports men and women who suffer bone fractures and field injuries could also come for herbal medicine cure.
Mr Nii Armah Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, noted that while the Government acknowledges the efforts of herbal practitioners such as Agbeve herbal and many others for putting herbal medicine practice on a high pedestal, it was equally concerned over some of the practitioners whose operations endanger the lives of Ghanaians.
He therefore urged all stakeholders, especially, the Food and Drugs Board and the Ghana Standards Board to seriously monitor, regulate and bring sanity into the herbal industry.
Maulvi Dr Wahab Adam, Ameer and Missionary in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, chaired the function. GNA