Worldwide market for traditional herbal medicine rises

World Health Organization (WHO) statistics indicate that worldwide annual market for traditional herbal medicine is about $ 60 billion.

Mr Matthew Gyang Nkum, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Officer of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), said 80 per cent of Africans use traditional herbal medicine which is getting significant attention in global health debates.

He was speaking at the presentation of certificates of participation to 100 traditional herbal practitioners in the Brong-Ahafo Region in Sunyani.

The 70 men and 30 women had completed training in quality herbal products manufacturing and entrepreneurship for improved production and competitiveness.

The training initiated by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) was sponsored by the Skills Development Fund (SDF) in collaboration with the Department of Herbal Medicine, KNUST for Ghana National Traditional Healers’ Association.

Traditional healers from the Greater Accra, Eastern and Brong Ahafo regions participated in the training.

The 30-day training in phases from June 30 to August 15 involved teaching and practical work to enhance their skills to improve upon their products to make them competitive on the market.

Mr Nkum said research in traditional herbal medicine would play a critical role in global health and stressed the need for Ghanaian herbal manufacturers to strategize and build capacity to provide safe, quality and effective medicines.

He appealed to herbal manufacturers to register their products under the Public Health Act and desist from airing unauthorized advertisements.

Dr Kofi Annan, Head of Department of Herbal Medicine, KNUST, said monitoring and evaluation of their operations after the training showed that about 90 per cent of their training was being implemented making their training useful.

He expressed appreciation for the enthusiasm with which they participated in the training and the improvement in their operations.

Nana Bofotia Boa Amponsem II, Krontihene of Sunyani Traditional Area, suggested that herbal medicines certified to be potent for the cure of some specific diseases should be recommended for prescription at health facilities.

Baffour Agyapong, President of Brong Ahafo Traditional Healers Association, (BATHA) said the training had enabled practitioners to have confidence in their operations to produce authentic herbal medicine without adverse effects on users.

He said the training had made tremendous improvement on their operations with regard to storage and packaging of their products as well as the toxicity and efficacy of herbal medicine.

Baffour Agyapong, who is the Executive Director of Opam Ago Herbal Centre at Bechem in the Tano South District, said practitioners from 11 municipal and districts in the region participated in the training. GNA

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