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Health News Wed, 14 Jul 2010

Psyche and Traditional Healers inaugurates national executives

Accra, July 14, GNA - A 19-member National Executive Committee for Ghana Psychic and Traditional Healers Association (GPTHA) was inaugurated in Accra on Wednesday to steer affairs of the Association.

Mr Hunua Yao Dunyoh is the National Chairman, with four National Vice-Chairmen, General Secretary, two Assistant General Secretaries, a National Treasurer, Publicity and Assistant Financial Secretary, a Deputy Financial Secretary and a Trustee.

Others are National Coordinator with two assistants each for the Northern and Southern Sectors, a National Propaganda Secretary with two assistants each for the Northern and Southern Sectors of the country.

Mr Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, Deputy Minister of Health, commended members of the Association for their patience and foresight and recognition by the Ministry as an authentic body worthy of delivering quality health care services alongside orthodox practice to the citizenry.

He called for the support and corporation of members to enable the executive deliver and ensure growth of the Association and traditional medicine practice in Ghana.

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Mr Mettle-Nunoo said the Ministry was working to emulate China, where traditional medicine practice had been incorporated into the health care delivery system alongside orthodox medical practice.

However, he cautioned the members to desist from incidences of human rights abuses by modernising certain forms of their practices and ensure that they respected provisions and laws of the country, to avoid any confrontation with law enforcement agencies.

"You must be abreast with improved evidence-based traditional medicine practice to encourage patronage of your services and reduce the sceptism and ambiguity in your operations," he added.

He urged them to ensure their therapies had rigorous scientific support through proper documentation and research, unfortunately, the widespread increase in traditional medicine practice had not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in quantity and quality clinical inquiry documentation.

Mr Mettle-Nunoo said the situation needed to be addressed if the potential of traditional medicine practices was to be fully harnessed to help the health sector to meet the enormous health challenges of the 21st Century and beyond.

He assured members of the Ministry's support and collaboration to ensure that their needs and requests were achieved.

Mr Dunyoh said though traditional medicine practice in Ghana had come a long way, there was no formal training institution for practitioners, because traditional knowledge systems and practices were not well documented. They are still transmitted orally and by apprenticeship, he added.

He noted that there had been mutual distrust between traditional healers and some educated elites, some members of the scientific community and adherents of foreign religions, but members were prepared to collaborate with scientific researchers to have their knowledge systems, medical and health care practices properly documented.

Mr Dunyoh affirmed commitment of members to collaborate with Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine (GHAFTRAM), to weed out charlatans.

He called on government through the MOH to take special interest and make more resources and funds available to the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine and other research institutions for research and documentation of all aspects of traditional medicine and health care knowledge systems and practices in Ghana.

Source: GNA