Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Oquaye has decried what he says is a lack of collaboration among African countries in the delivery of quality healthcare.

Speaking at the opening ceremony at the West Africa International Health Summit on Wednesday in Accra Prof Oquaye said the African Union (AU) must champion medical collaborations to ensure quality health service to citizens of member countries.

Prof Oquaye further charged participants to formulate ways of harnessing the potential of herbal medicines in meeting the needs of Africans.

“Raising the quality of the human factor is very…very important and we should be able to respond at all levels of medical practice. I trust that there will be a shift in paradigm in such a way that at the ECOWAS level, in fact, generally at the AU level medicine will become more of collaborative efforts whereby operations can be carried out with a long distance approach rather than always with a doctor one-on-one,” Prof Oquaye said.

Prof Oquaye added: “In terms of pharmaceutical development, in terms of herbal medicine development, it is an area that of course, we will very much need to look at. Plants are the essence of what we may call medicine or drug. At the same time as we have the plants unless they are properly developed, labelled, classified in a way whereby dosage can be determined with reasonable ease. Sometimes they are easy to employ or apply.

“As we meet on an occasion like this it will be most useful for us to consider ways and means of improving local herbal medicine, developing standards, developing ways and measures so that at the final analysis we should be able to benefit maximally from the practical aspects of local or native medicine.”

The three-day summit is expected to transform Ghana’s health sector given the opportunities for technology transfer.