FIRST HERBAL UNIT AT LEKMA HOSPITAL

Health, News, Spotlight — September 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The first herbal unit in the country's health delivery system has been established at the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA) Hospital at Teshie, Accra. This is in. fulfillment of the government's pledge to incorporate herbal treatment into the nation's health care delivery programme. Ms Esi Woode, a medical herbalist, told The Times on Wednesday that about 960 patients had been treated with herbal medicines since its establishment in February, this year. She said herbal medicines were prescribed for patients upon request, adding that patients attend the herbal clinic on their own volition. Among

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the ailments treated with herbal prescriptions are malaria, typhoid fever, hypertension, diabetes, chronic pains and fertility problems. She said on the average, 30 patients were treated at the herbal clinic of the hospital every month. She said the local medicines used at the herbal clinic were recommended by a committee comprising representatives from the Ministry of health, Centre for Scientific Research into plant Medicine, Traditional Medical practitioners and the Ghana Federation of traditional Medical Practitioners. Ms. Woode said the main criterion used y the committee in selecting those medicines was basically whether the medicine had been certified by the Food and Drugs Board and had the potency to cure the disease it was manufactured for “Apart from dispensing the local medicine, the unit also does acupuncture, massaging, cupping (attaching cups to a person’s muscle to relax it, reduce pain on the individual) and also counsel patients on good eating habits,” she said. She said the clinic under some circumstances combined the herbal medicine with orthodox medicine for the treatment of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The unit does not admit patients and refers patients to the general hospital if the need arises which makes it the only hospital to incorporate herbal medicine with orthodox medicine.”

She said plans were far advanced for the government to replicate the introduction of herbal treatment in 17 government hospitals across the country including the Police Hospital, 37 Military hospital and Cape Coast Government Hospital. Explaining the rationale for herbal treatment in hospitals, Ms Woode said a World Health Organisation study on medicine use showed that about 30 per cent of Ghanaian resorted to local medicine use when sick. She, however, said the local medicines were invariably taken without proper prescription and dosage. This could be injurious to health, she said, adding that, “it was to reverse this situation that government introduced the use of herbal medicines in health care delivery, where qualified medical herbalists would prescribe certified herbal medicines to patients when they attended hospital”. She advised against self-medication with herbal medicines, saying it could be injurious if taken in excess. Doris Awuku, a patient from Cape Coast, who had attended the herbal clinic, told the times that after using orthodox medicine to cure her waist pains without success, she decided to use alternative herbal treatment. “Within a few months of going through the herbal

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treatment, I have seen improvement in my waist pains,” she stated. Another patient, James Quaye, said, he had been visiting the clinic to massage his shoulder pain. He said he opted for massaging because unlike orthodox medicine, treatment could continue for a long time without side-effects. He appealed to the government to facilitate research into herbal medicines for the country to attain the heights of China and India in traditional medicine. SOURCE: GHANAIAN TIMES viagra

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