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Health News Mon, 26 Nov 2007

Traditional medicine practitioners go to school

Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - A three-day workshop for traditional medicine practitioners opened in Accra on Monday with a call on them to improve service delivery to ensure optimum health of patients.

The workshop, which brought together about 25 participants who are members of the Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, would also equip them with modern skills in handling and treatment of patients.

Mr F. K. Hlortsi-Akakpo, Registrar, Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC), said although 60 to 75 per cent of the world's population, according to the World Health Organisation, relied on traditional medicine for primary health care, there were no structured training programmes to regulate their activities. He said the Ministry of Health had noted with great concern the untimely death of a pregnant woman at the hands of a herbalist and added that, such adverse reports did not augur well for qualified practitioners.

Mr Hlortsi-Akakpo said that was why WHO and Ministry of Health (MOH) had funded the workshop to sensitise them on government's health policies and the need to improve service delivery. "There can be a meaningful enhancement in service delivery when practitioners are trained in specific areas," he said. He said the Ministry had directed that all practitioners be identified, registered and work in a coordinated manner to help the Ministry develop appropriate professional training services. "The registration will eliminate the quacks and charlatans whose activities undermine the positive contributions of genuine practitioners in Ghana," added.

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Ms Joyce Ansan-Yevu, Training Coordinator of Ghana Health Service, who spoke on infection prevention, urged the participants to always use methylated spirit and carbolic soaps to clean their hands and the infected parts of their patients when massaging or dressing their wounds.

"Ask your patients with wounds to always go for tetanus injection before you start treating their sores," she added. Ms Yevu advised them against the use of a single blade or syringe for more than one patient in order to avoid transmissions of infectious diseases.

She cautioned that sharp objects should be burnt and buried instead of being dumped in dustbins. Ms Ansan-Yevu appealed to the participants to always wash their hands before and after every treatment, sterilise their equipment and wear protective clothing and gloves. Topics to be treated are Nursing Arts and Procedures, Personnel Welfare, Financial Management and Bookkeeping and code of ethics, among others. 27 Nov. 07

Source: GNA