Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Traditional medicine gains ground in African universities
According to a report published on traditional medicine on the continent, the number of African countries with national policies on traditional medicine increased almost fivefold 2001 and 2010, The report, published by WHO, Regional Committee for Africa two weeks ago , also found that the number of countries with strategic plans for traditional medicine increased from zero to 18 in the same period, and those with national regulatory frameworks rose from one to 28. For example in 2010, 22 countries conducted research on traditional medicines for malaria, HIV/AIDS, sickle-cell anaemia, diabetes and hypertension using WHO guidelines. According to WHO, roughly 80 per cent of people in developing countries depend on traditional medicine for their primary healthcare. Some African universities had incorporated traditional medicine into the curricula for medical and pharmacy students, the report found. Health ministers and the WHO African regional office agreed at the meeting to promote this integration as a way of increasing research in the field.