The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COA Herbal Centre, Prof. Samuel Ato Duncan has been elected as the new President of Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, (GHAFTRAM).
Prof. Duncan together with other elected executives have therefore, been sworn in into office by the Supreme Court Justice, Justice Yonny Kulendi to begin their work.
The 22-Member Executives are expected to steer the affairs of the Federation and ensure that all Practitioners of traditional medicines do so with the rules and regulations governing the sector.
In his address, Prof. Ato Duncan stated, “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 other social vices. In our case, we have more than enough resources. However, we have been unable to maximize the full potential of these resources over the years. There is the need, therefore, for the government of Ghana to find other commodities that can bring foreign exchange to support the economy”.
Prof. Duncan revealed that, together with his executives in the morning days will engage the various stakeholders in the areas of Medicine, Science, Technology, Research, and Entrepreneurship, among others, to brainstorm and map out a plan of action toward the implementation of the GREEN GOLD REVOLUTION.
He however, called on the Government to consider traditional medicine, (GREEN GOLD) as the Natural resource that can turn around the economic situation of the country saying, although Ghana has Natural Resources including Gold, Cocoa, and oil, but has not been able to maximise the full potential of these resources.
The newly elected GHAFTRAM President assured president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, and pledged his support to the government in finding a lasting solution to the economic crises that Ghana is confronted with.
He stated, “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.”
Ghana he mentioned, 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”.
Prof. Duncan said, the Federation would established 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 shall engage with the relevant stakes to develop a system where 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 hinted that, the total number of Traditional Medicine Practitioners in Ghana was 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.
He noted that the Medical Superintendents’ Group amongst others has taken a keen interest in the integration of traditional and orthodox medicines in Ghana.
Meanwhile, Prof. Ato Duncan who has started pushing the ‘GREEN GOLD AGENDA’ which will soon be pursued by GHAFTRAM was of the firm belief that traditional medicines had the potential of changing Ghana’s economic challenges, adding that Ghana can rake in billions of dollars from the latter.
He appealed to the government, through the Ministry of Health, to increase the number of herbal units from 55 to cover all government hospitals in Ghana to expand coverage and 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 the economic fortunes of the nation”.