The Head of Clinic of the Centre for Plant Medicine Research, Mampong, Dr Mavis Boakye-Yiadom, has advised parents to be cautious when giving herbal medicines to children to prevent them from suffering any harmful effects.
She stressed that parents should not only rely on adverts for herbal medicine but look for genuine proof that the medicines are safe for children before administering them.
Dr Boakye-Yiadom gave the advice when members of the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) visited the centre to acquaint themselves with operations of the centre.
Members of the network are a group of journalists and scientists in 10 African countries including Ghana working together to fight malaria.
Dr Boakye-Yiadom said some of the herbal drugs produced by the centre were not recommended for children below 12 years and encouraged parents always to read the instructions on medicines before giving them to anyone.
Giving the background of the centre, the Executive Director, Prof. Augustine Ocloo, said the centre conducts research and develops plant medicine in Ghana and that it had contributed significantly to the development of herbal medicines in the country.
He said universal health coverage cannot be achieved if the needed attention was not given to herbal medicines.
The Deputy Executive Director of the centre, Dr Alfred Ampomah Appiah, who took journalists on the tour of the various facilities, said apart from research, development and production of herbal medicines, the centre also offered clinical services, analysis of herbal products, cultivation of medicinal plants and training of herbal practitioners.
He said the centre had developed more than 30 herbal products for various diseases including Nibima for the treatment of malaria.
On her part, the Executive Secretary of AMMREN, Dr Charity Binka, said there was the need to popularise drugs made in Ghana.
She said the artemisinin, which was used in treating malaria now, is a plant developed in China and it was important to create more awareness of the Nibima medicine produced by the centre for treating malaria.
Dr Binka also appealed to the centre to find new ways in the production of their medicines.