The Ministry of Health (MoH) on Tuesday inaugurated a nine-member Board of the Centre for Plant Medicine Research in Accra to direct the affairs of the Centre and enable it to achieve its mandate.
The Board, chaired by Mr Thomas Boateng Appiagyei, the Secretary of the Centre, is tasked among other duties to research into plant medicine for the promotion, encouragement, extension, transfer and application of scientific research knowledge and development in the field of plant medicine.
It is also expected to promote national and international collaboration, the transfer of technology for the effective development and utilisation of research results and findings in plant medicine for the benefit of the country.
The Centre would also facilitate the evaluation of research findings to determine the therapeutic benefits of plant medicines for quality assurance and establish botanical gardens for medicinal plants.
Other members of the Board are Mr Kofi Bobi Barimah, the Director of the Centre; Dr Anastasia Yirenkyi of the MoH,; Professor Kwami Harry Tagbor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences; Dr Isaac Julius Asiedu-Gyekye, the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ghana; and Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority.
Others are Dr Victor Kwame Agyeman, a Nominee from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; Dr Maureen Martey, a Representative of the MoH and Nana Supi Adawu II, a nominee from the Traditional Medicine Practice Council.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Minister of Health who swore-in the Board said for the past three years, the Centre had been without a Governing Board which posed a serious limitation on the functionality of the Centre.
Since its formation, the Centre had not seen any major infrastructural development and this had resulted in limited space for offices, research laboratory and other incidental facilities, the Minister said.
"...It is my expectation that the Board will put in the necessary measures at the Centre to ensure good corporate governance and smooth running of the Centre," he said.
Mr Manu disclosed that the Centre was availing itself for the public private partnership model of the One District One Factory Initiative to enter into joint ventureship with private investors to enhance its production capacity and generate more funds to help the Centre.
"This needs the approval from the Board and it is expected that the Board would ensure it is done according to the laid down regulations," he noted.
The Minister said the Board was expected to be guided by the Public Financial Management Act, which placed higher responsibilities on Governing Boards to ensure proper internal controls and sound financial management in their respective institutions.
He gave the Centre an assurance of the Ministry's support to enable it achieve its mandate.
Mr Appiagyei, the Chairman of the Board thanked the Ministry on behalf of the Board for honouring them with appointments.
"We assure you that, we shall use our many years of experience in civil, public and private practice to promote scientific research, knowledge and development in plant medicine," he said.
He said the country had known the usefulness of plant medicine since prehistoric times, because her forefathers used them, adding that however, the citizenry had not taken advantage of it compared to the Ayurvedic medicines by the Indians and Chinese medicine.
"We shall bring to bear our experiences in the private sector to strive to make the Centre self-sufficient knowing the meagre resources available to your Ministry. We shall also as a Board assist all regulatory bodies to sanitise the system to improve the wellbeing of the Ghanaian in plant medicine," he said.