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Regional News Thu, 24 May 2012

Move us from the Ministry of Health - Traditional Healers Association plead with Government

The Ghana Psychic and Traditional Healers Association has appealed to the Government to place the association under the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture instead of being under the Ministry of Health.

He said that would help the association to collaborate with the traditional authorities who were custodians of the land and promoters of culture, since traditional healing was purely based on African traditional culture and norms.

Torgbi Massa Alorwonu Adenyo, National Chairman of the Association, made the appeal at the opening of a national forum in Koforidua on Thursday.

Torgbi Adenyo said the Association, which was formed by the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah in 1960, and registered under the Ministry of Health with the sole aim of bringing all traditional medicine practitioners under one umbrella, had never benefited under the current Ministry.

He said considering the main aim of the Association, which was to uphold, promote and protect the best in psychic and traditional healing in Ghana, secure and maintain the unity between traditional medicine parishioners and African medical herbalists with the idea to protect culture and traditional religion, placing them under the Ministry of Health was not proper.

“Since we were registered under the Ministry of Health, there has never been any change or improvement in our lives” he said.

He said it was against that background that the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine (GHAFTRAM) as an umbrella association was formed, but unfortunately their expectation had not been met.

Torgbi Adenyo said the federation was looking only at the herbal drug manufacturers and raw herbal material sellers, leaving psychic and traditional healers to their fate.

Torgbi Adenyo said the Association since its formation had played major roles in society.

These included solving of spiritual and physical problems, litigations or disputes between different tribes, protection of the environment and the forest and also helping people to obey taboos and traditional norms of the land.

He said it was unfortunate that in spite of all the important roles they play in Ghanaian society, the general populace had a lot of negative perception about them and sometimes described them as agents of the devil who always seek to destroy.

He said their works were not recognized by the ministry and that none of their members were invited to any workshop organized by the ministry unlike the traditional medicine practitioners who always get opportunity to demonstrate their products to the people.

Torgbi Adenyo said they were in the process of forming Ghana Psychic and Spiritual Council and enact bye-laws to be sent to Parliament for approval in order to eliminate quack practitioners from the system.

He also expressed concern about people parading themselves as national executive of the association, and warned that the Ghana Psychic Association was one and recognized by the state and that anybody who was caught impersonating would be dealt with.

The Director of Administration and Human Resource at the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, Alhaji Ibrahim Tijani, commended the association on its role since its formation and urged them to continue to support the people on their health matters.

The Eastern Regional minister, Mr Victor Smith, in an address read on his behalf, urged members of the association to correct all the negative impression people have about them and work as professional traditional healers.**

Source: GNA