Traditional medicine practitioners have been cautioned not to parade themselves as medical doctors since their licenses do not mandate them to practice as such.Mr Martin Azaglo, the Registrar of Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC), gave the warning at the commemoration of the 13th African and Ghana’s 16th Traditional Medicine Week in Cape Coast on Tuesday.The week-long celebration, under the theme: “Regulating Traditional Health Practitioners in the Africa Region,” was attended by more than 500 traditional medicine practitioners nationwide.Mr Azaglo, who spoke on “Evidence as benchmarks for traditional medicine development and regulation - TMPC perspective,” said it was unfortunate that some herbalists paraded themselves as medical doctors and in some cases took up duties they were unqualified to perform.He advised them to liaise with hospitals and medical doctors as well as their colleague herbalists to enable them to make prompt referral of cases they were not able to handle.Mr Azaglo reminded them that the ban on the sale of herbal medicine on passenger vehicles was still in force, but said, however that, they could sell on licensed branded vehicles.“It is unlawful to package medicines in travelling bags and other containers to sell on commercial vehicles,” he said.He said traditional medicine practitioners played a vital role in the healthcare delivery system, stressing that during the recent doctors’ strike it was the traditional practitioners who stepped in to save lives particularly in the rural areas. Mr Azaglo urged them to endeavour to register and license their health centres and produce their medicines under hygienic conditions since about 70 to 80 per cent of the population used traditional medicine.Mr Emmanuel Yaw Kwarteng, the Head of Herbal Medicine at the Food and Drugs Authority, said it was a criminal act for any traditional medicine practitioner to use orthodox medical compounds in their traditional medicine.He said evidence should be the benchmark for the development of traditional medicine in Ghana and encouraged them to ensure proper labeling and packaging of their herbal medicines.
Mr Azaglo urged them to endeavour to register and license their health centres and produce their medicines under hygienic conditions since about 70 to 80 per cent of the population used traditional medicine.
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