Sunday, April 17, 2016

MoH to support Centre for Plant Medicine Research

By Edmund Smith-Asante
Mr Alex Segbefia, the Health Minister, listening to the Deputy Director of the Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR), Dr Ampomah Appiah.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) says it will support the Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR) at Mampong-Akuapem to overcome its challenges.

During a tour of the centre by officials of the Ministry of Health, the Director of CPMR, Dr Augustine Ocloo, listed a plethora of challenges plaguing the centre which were seriously hampering its operations.

They included the centre’s inability to meet the demand for its products, the lack of infrastructure such as research laboratories and inadequate supply of raw materials.

Other problems were inadequate inputs for research such as basic equipment and reagents, inadequate staff and the centre’s inability to meet its financial obligations.

“The clinic does not receive enough support from the ministry in terms of medical equipment and supplies,” Dr Ocloo said.

However, the Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, pledged his ministry’s assistance to the centre to bring it out of the challenges.

Established in 1975 as a research institution, the centre does scientific analysis to establish the efficacy, quality and safety of herbal medicines.

In his interaction with the management of the centre, Mr Segbefia gave the assurance that he would do everything in his power to assist the centre to achieve its full potential.

He nonetheless, said his ministry would only be able to offer help after the centre had prioritised its challenges and its request put into next year’s budget.

Mr Segbefia also called for team work between his ministry and the CPMR to deal with the challenges and also promote the centre’s successes.

He said much of the centre’s woes could be attributed to the negative publicity given to herbal medicine by some practitioners in the country.

“If we allow one medicine to heal various diseases, it gives traditional medicine a bad name,” he stated.

Affirming that the centre had a lot of potential to help the country deal with its disease burden, Mr Segbefia asked for greater emphasis to be placed on research and also urged the centre to market itself for Ghanaians to know of its existence and capabilities.

The minister said his visit was to apprise himself of the state of affairs at the centre in order to find solutions to its challenges.

This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on March 11, 2016

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