Medical herbalists are health care professionals who as part of their training, pursue a four-year degree program (BSc. Herbal Medicine) at the faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, KNUST. After completion of the four-year degree program, these graduates undergo a two-year internship program in three rotations. First-year mandatory national service followed by six months’ internship training at Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR) and Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital (TQMH). At the end of the internship, the Medical Herbalists must pass a professional examination and go through induction to enable them to practice.
To make herbal medicine a natural choice for all, the Medical Herbalists are posted to some selected hospitals within the Ghana Health Service, through the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Directorate (TAMD) under the Ministry of Health. These professionals have the ability to make definite diagnoses based on patient’s history, physical examination, clinical investigations including diagnostic imaging, and making treatment plan based on validated herbal medicines.
The department of Herbal Medicine, KNUST led by the head of department, Prof. Isaac Ayensu and other lecturers paid a working visit to the management of CPMR and Medical Herbal interns on Wednesday 23rd February 2022 at Akuapem-Mampong. Eastern Region. The visit forms part of the department’s effort to help restructure and improve the training of herbal medicine students
and to acquaint themselves with the excellent output and possible challenges facing medical herbalist interns at CPMR and how to help address them.
During the historic working visit to the Centre by the department of Herbal Medicine, KNUST, Prof. Isaac Ayensu and his team had a closed-door meeting with the Ag. Executive Director of CPMR, Dr. Bobi Barimah after which they met various heads
of department and medical herbalist interns. At the meeting with the Heads of Department (HOD) and the interns, the following were discussed:
- Interns commended management and staff for their support during their internship program at the Centre. The HOD’s also commended the interns for their hard work and cooperation at the various department.
- Interns also lamented about their financial hardship and their inability to provide basic life necessity during their internship at CPMR and TQMH due to lack of allowances towards the training.
- Accommodation or housing facility at Mampong has always been a challenge. The situation has worsened due to exorbitant rents charged by landlords and their reluctance to accept one-year advance payment. A proposal was made to collaborate with other cooperate bodies like GETFund to secure funding for a hostel facility.
- The interns expressed concerns on the delay in releasing their results following their Professional Qualifying Exams (PQE) and induction ceremony for the past Medical Herbalists.
The interns and all in attendance look forward to the implementation or provision of solutions to the challenges and problems