Ghana AIDS Commission has engaged traditional healers on claims by some of them that they have a cure for HIV/AIDS.
The Commission seeks to prevent what it says are needless deaths of infected persons who go off antiretrovirals for herbal and spiritual healing.
The meeting was meant to clarify what officials describe as misconception and claims on the cure for HIV-AIDS.
The Social Accountability Monitoring Committee of the Ghana AIDS Commission is spearheading the discourse with herbalist and faith healers.
Technical Coordinator for the Commission, Olivia Graham Acheampong, expressed worry that some unsuspecting persons living with HIV were abandoning their antiretroviral drugs for traditional medication.
“We are going to monitor the situation because we realised that we have lost to follow-ups in our clinics. We will see how it is going and we may have to meet them again and do further dialoguing so that we all come to a conclusion on this matter,’ she said.
One of the participating herbal healers says collaboration between the AIDS Commission and traditional healers is critical to bringing relief to persons living with HIV.
Stephen Osei Agyepong Nyedua is Ashanti Regional Director for Traditional Medicine Practice at the Health Ministry wants authorities to support members to research further into some of the herbs they claim can manage the disease.
“There is no mutual trust between the orthodox medicine practitioners and herbal medicine practitioners, the former think the latter are not formally educated and so they have nothing to offer.
“We want proper collaboration between the two, to ensure that what our people are saying, they will take into consideration. They should invite them and if it even requires support to research further into the claims and ensure that those drugs go through the proper checks and processes, it is done,” Mr Nyedua said.
Meanwhile, Ashanti Regional Director of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Nora Tei-Larbie was emphatic that only western medicine had been registered for management of HIV and that they have not registered any drug that can cure HIV.
The meeting provided a platform to educate and encourage them to follow due process to register their drugs with the FDA.