Zimbabwe is hosting two World Health Organization (WHO) events to advance the cause of African traditional medicine, according to Wendy Julias, WHO Communications Officer.
According to Julias, from 16 to 18 May, more than 50 participants from across the region took part in a regional consultation on entitled African Traditional Medicine: Practices Practitioners and Products.
The general objective of the consultation is to share ideas on how to address challenges related to traditional medicine practice and the use of traditional medicinal products. Participants in the three-day consultation reviewed two documents: a draft regional framework for the regulation of African traditional medicine practices, practitioners and products, and a draft framework for collaboration between practitioners of traditional and conventional medicine. They are also expected to agree on a draft tool for collecting data on African traditional medicine practices.
The regional consultation was followed by a regional workshop (21 to 23 May) attended by more than 50 participants on traditional medicine research and development.
Participants shared country experiences on research and development around traditional medicines for the treatment of priority diseases and conditions such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, sickle cell anaemia and hypertension. They also contributed to updating the regional strategy on promoting the role of traditional medicine in health systems and shared country experiences on protection of intellectual property rights and Africa’s biodiversity.
Participants in both events were drawn from ministries of health, research institutes, academia, bilateral and multilateral agencies, NGOs and federations and associations of traditional health practitioners, among others.