Friday, September 07, 2012

Speak With One Voice and Isolate the Impostors

Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) have been urged to register with THP associations that exist in the country so as to be able to speak with one voice and isolate the impostors including those who come from outside the country to come and give traditional medicine a bad name.

The North West District Council Secretary Mr Kwele Puso said this when officiating at the commemoration of the African Traditional Medicine day hosted on 31st August 2012 at Toteng Village. The day was commemorated under the theme: “The Decade of Traditional Medicine: What Impact?” The commemoration was a joint event by Centre for Scientific Research Indigenous Knowledge & Innovation (Cesriki) at the University Of Botswana (UB), Dingaka Associations and the Ministry of Health (MoH), and it is hosted annually in different villages across Botswana.

Mr. Puso lamented that as these commemorations are a challenge for everyone to look back and see if there has been an achievement since the inception of the day a decade ago, the MoH continues to build capacity for better health for Batswana by bringing THPs aboard in current public health concerns such as HIV and AIDS, diarrhea and TB through meetings, workshops, seminars as well as national and international conferences.

“I am reliably informed that there is a centre attached to UB that draws upon the nation’s indigenous knowledge base and promotes Botswana’s social and cultural heritage. I therefore urge all of you to take advantage of this centre and use it to improve your knowledge of some of our traditional medicines and preserve the knowledge for future generations,” he said.

Most of the speakers noted that despite these achievements, they are still lagging behind in the area of policy, legislation and regulation of traditional medicine that result in an influx of traditional healers from other countries of which some tend to be “fly by night” robbers who rob Batswana of their hard earned cash leaving this ancient craft totally discredited. UB had set up a stall on the day and many of the traditional doctors who were present at the commemoration submitted medical samples for laboratory examination.

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