For effective health policies formulation, Rev Fr. Anselm Adodo OSB, the director of Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories, has advised African governments to involve the private sectors and create a level playing ground for both conventional orthodox medicine practice and traditional herbal medicine. He said this during his recent visit to Ghana, on the invitation of the Ministry of Health, Ghana.
Fr. Adodo noted that the orthodox, conventional method of healing is not the only valid health system, adding that there are other ways of attaining health that are equally valid.
While welcoming Rev Fr. Adodo,Pharmacist Peter Arhin, the director of Traditional and Alternative Medicine, Ministry of Health Ghana, disclosed that in the spirit of brotherly entrepreneurship, the Ghanaian authority urged both countries to put in placehealth policies that will encourage large scale production of herbal medicines. He added that since the practice ofherbal medicine is the same in Africa and what unites us together are the plants, it is therefore imperative that we cultivate our medicinal plants and do it in such a way that the world will benefit from what we are doing.
Pharm Arhin further identifiedthe need to recognise our herbal practitioners, as well as train them to produce refined herbal medicines. “It is also important that the research aspect of our traditional medicine be developed, while we ensure that the intellectual property rights of traditional healers are protected”.
Also at the event, which included the facility tours of specific herbal hospitals and institutions in Ghana, among others, the patron of the Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners in Ghana, and Director, Association for the Promotion of Traditional Medicine (PROMETRA), PharmacistAloka Dabra, said that “what orthodox medicine has failed to do, African herbal medicine is doing”.
While commending the role of Fr. Anselm Adodo in herbal medicine practice and publications in Africa and thepioneering role of Pax Herbals in herbal medicineresearch, packaging and manufacturing, Pharm Aloka revealed that herbal medicine is being integrated into the Ghana healthcare policy, backed with appropriate laws.
“As a result of this development, there are presently 18 government approved hospitals where herbal and alternative medicines arebeing practiced in Ghana. The consultants at the herbal clinics in these hospitals are trained at the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University with Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees in herbal medicine. Meanwhile, Ghana presently has over 150,000 legally registered herbal practitioners”.
Pharm Aloka, who observed that over 66 universities are offering degrees up to PhD level in herbal medicine in China, with over200 patents, while similar progress is presently taking place in India, however regretted thatthe whole of Africa has less than five patent rights.
The Ghanaian Traditional Medicine Practitioners Federation also played host to Rev. Fr Adodo and he used the opportunity to givethema motivational address on how to move the practice forward in Ghana. The practitioners therefore urged the management Pax Herbal to commence the importation of their products to Ghana for the health benefits of their people.
Other dignitaries at the eventinclude the former director of Traditional Medicine in Ghana, Osofo Pankama Quaram and Dr. Letica. A. Wiafe, the Municipal Director of health services, Ghana Health Services, among others.