The herbal medicine industry is a fast-growing space that employs a lot of people and also contributes in diverse ways to the Ghanaian economy.
The production of herbal medicine has long existed in Ghana.
While many go by approved standards, others have infiltrated the market with fake products.
This has affected the general acceptability of herbal medicines, as many people have the perception that they are inferior to other pharmaceutical products imported into the country.
A leading herbal medicine producer, Group Chief Executive Officer of Taabea group of companies, Christian Kwasi Agyemang is thus urging the president and the health ministry to encourage the patronage of herbal medicines approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to give life to the industry.
“When we get the attention that we deserve, herbal medicine will do a whole lot to help this country, not only our health but the economy too. This is because we produce herbal medicine for healing. At times, when you go to the hospital and the doctors ask you to go home and die, they come to us, and they get better. It tells you that, herbal medicine is good and that we have to develop it. During the Covid time, almost everybody was using herbal products. Even our own president said we should eat healthy with the dawadawa, kontomire and those stuff that he mentioned. They are all herbal. The FDA for instance should coach us instead of us condemning us just like that in some instances.”
“They should coach us on what they want us to say in our adverts or when you give the LPM to the presenter, tell us what you want him or her to say. That is what you should do. I know in everything, some people will bring issues, I know but at least, you don’t condemn all of us just like that. Secondly, with the government too, I like the way the president said we should eat dawadawa and the rest. We have the ministry of health, they can come in and say that when you’re sick, and you go to the hospital or the lab, and let’s say they get parasites in your system, the doctors should prescribe the herbal medicines that have been approved by FDA for any ailment that the person will bring. I think it will encourage everybody, even we the producers, to do it very well. It will even boost our market because the trust that people will have in our medicine will come up”
As the Taabea group of companies has begun exporting herbal medicines to many countries, Dr. Christian Kwasi Agyeman believes that encouraging its patronage will open up employment opportunities to many Ghanaians and will boost the local economy.
He wants stakeholders to create an enabling environment to help the herbal medicine industry thrive.
“Look at the chain, the business aspect of it. We the herbal medicine practitioners, buy bottles from the bottle blowers, we buy packaging from the printers. The media-the radio and television stations too, we advertise a lot. When you open your radio station right now, I can tell you that 80% of adverts that you hear are all about herbal medicine.”
“But I am telling you, we the herbal medicine practitioners, we don’t get any kind of help from anywhere but when you go to our brothers and sisters at the pharmaceutical companies, the government sustains them, at least the government cushions them in some way. So, if you’re able to develop that side, it is going to help the economy. They have employed a lot of people who are working there”.