Traditional medicine must be respected and promoted by Western health practitioners, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official has said.
A resounding silence surrounds an event to take place at the end of this month that, in theory at least, has great significance for the health of the people of Africa. Dr Ebrahim Samba is to step down after serving his maximum two terms of office as Director of WHO's Africa Region (WHO/AFRO). A new leader for WHO's governing body in the African region must therefore be nominated when the Regional Committee meets in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, between Aug 31 and Sept 3.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Tuesday called on African governments to create conditions necessary for the use of traditional medicine to thrive on the continent. WHO's African Regional Director Ebrahim Samba 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. 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. 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 diseases that included diabetes and hypertension. (Source: Xinhua News Agency, 3 July 2001)