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Many African populations, up to 80%, rely on traditional medicines for their primary health care needs, and they are often used as alternative to western treatments.
Africa is endowed with many plants that can be used for medicinal purposes to which they have taken full advantage. Medicinal plants are used in the treatments of many diseases and illnesses, the uses and effects of which are of growing interest to Western societies. Not only are plants used and chosen for their healing abilities, but they also often have symbolic and spiritual significance. It is believed that only poor and illiterate individuals are the patronizers of traditional medicine, while the practitioners were regarded as witch doctors that took care of their patient with cultic powers. The aforementioned situation is gradually changing as traditional medicine is now receiving wide acceptance, the general notion of peoples mind about traditional medicine are now being erased. The result is that orthodox doctors now prescribe traditional drugs to their patients and the improvement has always been fast. According to Adeshina, most Nigerians, especially those living in rural communities don’t have access to orthodox medicine and it is estimated that about 75 per cent of the populace still prefer to solve their health problems consulting traditional healers.
Besides, many rural communities have great faith in traditional medicine, particularly the inexplicable aspects as they believe that it is the wisdom of their fore-fathers which also recognizes their socio-cultural and religious background which orthodox medicine seems to neglect. Adeshina further explains that there is abundant justification for the use of herbs by the various traditional healers identified.
Agreed that there are quacks among traditional medicine men, but it is not enough reason to regulate traditional medicine to the background.
Leaves of local plants are soaked in water, the water now rich in nutrient from the plant can be drunk; the result of this treatment has been favourable in all cases with no side effects.
In sum, traditional medicine has come a long way, although more endeavours should be put in to make it more curative and hygienic.
Traditional African medicine is a holistic discipline involving extensive use of indigenous herbalism combined with aspects of African spirituality.
About 80% of Africa’s population relies on traditional medicine for their basic health needs. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on African governments to create conditions necessary for the use of traditional medicine to thrive on the continent.


The policy provides a transformational process for formal recognition of the African traditional medicine system to acknowledge our heritage as a country and to address issues of capacitating and protecting traditional health practitioners and the users of African traditional medicine.
The South African government is working towards establishing a national institute of African traditional medicine to coordinate, undertake and provide leadership in research. Your use of this website constitutes acknowledgement and acceptance of our Terms & Conditions. There is one particular standard healer for each and every 500 men and women in Sub-Saharan Africa, but there is only a single medical physician for each and every 40,000 folks. In fact, out of the approximated 6400 plant species used in tropical Africa, more than 4000 are used as medicinal plants.
For example, leaves, seeds, and twigs that are white, black and red are seen as especially symbolic or magical and possess special properties. Practitioners of traditional medicine were not in any way seen as doctors; even the western trained doctors saw them as a threat to the well being of their patient. Where such access exists, the rising cost of imported medications and other commodities used for medicines have posed a big problem. Malaria, one of the leading causes of death in this country also has its traditional remedy. In some cases traditional medicine is the only healthcare service available, accessible and affordable to many people on the continent. WHO’s African Regional Director said in a statement that since 80 percent of Africans use traditional medicine for their healthcare needs, it is important for governments to promote its rational use and integration into their national health systems. It also proposes that the institute be responsible for ensuring the safety, quality and timely availability of medicines and raw materials. Formerly, traditional medicines were seen as an unhealthy, local, diabolical and disgusting way of curing diseases. In Nigeria, trained pharmacists now make research on different herbs and their capability to cure specific illness.
Conventional anti-malaria drugs are proving less effective and traditional drugs cures it thoroughly.
Noting that traditional medicine should be accorded with the status and respect it deserved, he stressed the need for mutual respect and closer collaboration between modern and traditional health practitioners.


The registration and regulation of all varieties of conventional healers (which includes inyangas, sangomas, traditional birth attendants and traditional surgeons) will be oversee by this Council.It is estimated that 200 000 standard healers will be eligible for registration.
He pledged the WHO support to countries in ensuring the affordability and wide availability of traditional medicines, adding that the organisation is providing guidance for the evaluation of medicines for the treatment of other conditions that included diabetes and hypertension.
When the new law comes into full impact only registered healers will be allowed to practise medicine. The new law does not let for traditional healers to diagnose or treat terminal ailments, such as HIV and AIDS, and cancer.
The register is nonetheless in the procedure of getting set up and there have been some legal challenges to the new legislation, which has delayed its full enactment.The Bill states that traditional healers who are not registered and try to practise medicine, or claim to be ready to treat or remedy a terminal condition, will be fined or imprisoned.
Membership contains a compulsory 1-day workshop on THO activities and a 5-day workshop on standard major wellness care. This implies offering coaching for conventional healers on the science, prevention, remedy and care of HIV and AIDS.
This will be on the understanding that conventional healers are not allowed to diagnose or treat HIV and AIDS employing their personal techniques. Traditional medicines and HIV and AIDS: With a lot of folks making use of traditional medicines to treat the signs and symptoms of HIV and AIDS, lots of claims have been produced that some of these traditional medicines can even remedy HIV disorder. These claims are completely incorrect, as no treatment options, such as Antiretroviral medicines (ARVs), have been shown to remedy HIV and AIDS. ARVs function by attacking the virus and stopping it from producing lots of copies of itself. A particular person begins to really feel far better as the quantity of viruses in the physique is decreased. Nevertheless there is extremely small appropriate scientific study about the safety and effectiveness of these herbal therapies. It is consequently essential to make sure that these medicines are correctly researched very first to make certain that the secure and effectives ones can be identified and utilized, and the ones that can harm men and women are withdrawn.



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