07 July 2017

Scientist calls for exploration of medicinal plants to enhance healthcare delivery

Scientists are calling for efficient exploration of Africa’s medicinal and natural resources to enhance health care delivery.


Dean of the faculty of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Professor Rita Dickson believes its time Africa embraces medicinal plants as it grapples with alarming levels of both communicable and especially non communicable diseases. 


“We are struggling with especially non communicable diseases. These days the issue about cancer has become so predominant”. She bemoaned.


“We have been blessed with so many medicinal plants we mustn’t let them go without using them effectively,” she says.


She adds there is need for collaboration between traditional medical practice and main stream medical practice for effective healthcare delivery


Pofessor Rita Dickson was speaking at the 6th African Pharmaceutical Symposium of the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation in Kumasi.


At a time when the patient to doctor ratio is 1 to over 10,000 for Ghana and 1 to 20,000 in a country like Uganda, health experts believe its about time the population of traditional healers which is about 1 in 200 in some countries can be looked at.


A Nigerian scientist is advocating policies to empower people to decide the type of treatment they prefer for their ailments.


Professor Okukemi Odukoya of University Jos Department of Pharmacognosy, wants government to pass laws to that effect.


“So that each can have their own dignity, honour and respect as to the different modalities and treatment sunder the system the government approves,” she says.


She, however, urges traditional medical practitioners to know the limits of their operation.


“Traditional medical practitioners should know their boundaries,” she admonished.


She was addressing the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation at its 6th Pharmaceutical in this summit will find ways to integrate orthodox and complementary medicine.


The aim is to enhance health care delivery in Africa.

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