The West African Health Organization (WAHO) Trains Trainers of Traditional Medicine (TM) Practitioners on the Safety of Plant Medicines
Ouagadougou, BURKINA FASO - As part of the West African Health Organisation’s commitment to promoting the rational use of plant medicines in the ECOWAS region, a training of trainers workshop on the safety of plant medicines was organised in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 29 to 30 July 2019.
The meeting brought together 34 participants from the ECOWAS Member States, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.
The following persons spoke at the opening ceremony: Dr Aissa BOUWAYE, newly-appointed Programme Officer for TM at WAHO, Dr Sami Aichatou GUERO ARZIKA, Chair of the meeting in her capacity as the Head of TM Division of Niger, Dr. Kofi BUSIA, Director of the Department of Health Care Services at WAHO; Dr. Pascal NADEMBEGA, Director of Traditional and Alternative Medicine of Burkina Faso, representing the Minister of Health of Burkina Faso.
The meeting was facilitated by Prof Charles Ansah of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana
Because of the multiplicity of active ingredients present in plants, the meeting considered the efficacy and safety of plant medicines as an entry point for establishing collaboration among academia, researchers and other key stakeholders of TM for exploring the pharmacological virtues of plant-based materials for the discovery of new drugs.
In terms of pharmacovigilance, participants placed patient safety at the heart of public health concerns and invited all TM practitioners’ associations and drug manufacturers to ensure quality and safety of raw materials and finished products of TM, throughout the production chain.
The meeting invited countries to solicit WAHO's expertise in the establishment of advanced TM systems and the creation of phytovigilance advisory centres to oversee the safety of plant medicines.
Participants requested that WAHO develops a user-friendly training manual on the safety of plant medicines for TM practitioners, outlining concepts on toxicity, solvent systems, dosage forms and drug interactions.
Participants pledged to impart the knowledge gained from the training to their TM practitioners on their return.
Participants expressed their sincere thanks to WAHO for organising such an important meeting, which will contribute to improving access to quality essential medicines in the ECOWAS region.
Participants thanked the authorities of Burkina Faso, particularly the Honourable Minister of Health, for the warm welcome extended to them and for accepting to host the workshop.