The newly-elected executives of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, (GHAFTRAM)  were sworn-in yesterday at the Ministry of Health.

The newly sworn-in 22-member executive is expected to steer the affairs of the Federation and ensure all practitioners of traditional medicines do so within the rules and regulations governing the sector.

The new executives, with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COA Herbal Centre, Prof. Samuel Ato Duncan as president, were sworn in by Supreme Court Justice, Justice Yonny Kulendi.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Ato Duncan called on government to consider traditional medicine (GREEN GOLD) as the Natural Resource that can turn around th country’s economic situation.

He observed that although it has natural resources including gold, cocoa and oil, Ghana has not been able to maximise the full potential of these resources.

He also noticed that the aforementioned natural resources have failed to turn around the country’s economic fortunes.

Meanwhile, Prof. Ato Duncan – who has started pushing the ‘GREEN GOLD Agenda’ which will soon be pursued by GHAFTRAM – is of the firm belief that traditional medicines have the potential of changing Ghana’s economic challenges, adding that Ghana can rake in billions of dollars from the latter.

“A nation without enough resources tends to rely largely on loans. If the loans are not used prudently, repayment becomes a challenge, thereby leading to economic distress. This creates political and social insecurity, poverty, high unemployment rates and social vices. In our case, we have more than enough resources. However, we have been unable to maximise the full potential of these resources over the years. There is a need, therefore, for the government of Ghana to find other commodities that can bring foreign exchange to support the economy,” he said.

The COA Mixture CEO assured President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and also pledged his support to government in finding a lasting solution to the economic crisis Ghana is confronted with.

He said: “It is our firm belief as a Federation that if gold, cocoa, and oil have all failed in turning around the economic fortunes of our nation, we must look to what we call the GREEN GOLD – the future of Ghana”.

Prof. Ato Duncan said in the coming days, together with his executives, GHAFTRAM will engage the various stakeholders in areas of Medicine, Science, Technology, Research and Entrepreneurship, among others, to brainstorm and map out a plan of action toward implementation of the GREEN GOLD Revolution.

“Ghana can rake in billions of dollars from Traditional Medicine. We have made some progress, and there is adequate evidence to support this position. However, there is more room for improvement. The Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Health, has demonstrated its commitment to promoting the sector,” he said.

He noted that the Medical Superintendents’ Group, among others, has taken a keen interest in the integration of traditional and orthodox medicines in Ghana.

He again said the Federation will establish a research committee made up of experts in various fields to support the Federation in its quest to elevate the standards of traditional medicine practice in Ghana.

“As part of our initiatives, we will engage with the relevant stakeholders to develop a system wherein practitioners who do not have formal education are given that opportunity in a local language they understand, and subsequently issued with a standard certificate,” he said.

Prof. Ato Duncan observed that the total number of Traditional Medicine Practitioners in Ghana is about 40,000. Unfortunately, he said, only 3,890 were registered.

“I wish to assure you that we will work on bringing all on board.  We also hope to partner with various countries and institutions that have made significant progress in the manufacturing and administration of traditional medicine. We know China and India are far advanced in this direction,” he said.

While at it, he appealed for government, through the Ministry of Health, to increase the number of herbal units from 55 to cover all government hospitals in Ghana and expand coverage.

He urged all the executives to stand together in unity to support if one of them is affected in their line of duty.

“Notwithstanding, we must reach out to all those who have medications but have not been duly registered with the regulators.

“I hereby challenge you all to get involved as we embark on this journey. I assure you that it is a journey that will turn around the nation’s economic fortunes,” he added.


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