The sale of herbal medicines for the treatment of various ailments and disease conditions in Ghana has over the years seen an incredible boom mainly because of the low cost of the products and their wide accessibility in most pharmacies, chemical shops and lorry stations.
This development according to some health practitioners, remain a major source of worry and a great threat to quality healthcare delivery in the country however, principal pharmacist at the Police Hospital in Accra, Mrs. Ellen Sam has stated that herbal medicines play a crucial role in Ghana’s health sector and as such their production must be encouraged in the country.
According to Mrs. Sam, although there has been several criticisms against the sale and use of some herbal medicines in Ghana, their efficacy and important in the nation’s health sector must not be underrated.
Speaking to Radio Univers’ Jonas Nyabor at a media sensitization workshop on Malaria organized by AMMREN and MalariaCare in Accra, she said “about 70% of our population depend on herbal medicine. I think the problem is that we need to standardize herbal medicines in Ghana. Most of them do not have patient information, adverse drug reaction, side effects, drug interaction and so many other important notes.”
She added that, with herbal medicines being affordable, culturally acceptable and easily accessible, not much can be done to bar Ghanaians from purchasing them for treatment.
She has therefore called for more research to be conducted into these medicines to enable them to be standardized and have consumer safety protected.