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Traditional medicine development for medical and dental primary health care delivery system in Africa.
African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 2005; 2(1):46-61.Traditional African Medicine (TAM) is our socio-economic and socio-cultural heritage, servicing over 80% of the populations in Africa. Although, it has come a long way from the times of our ancestors, not much significant progress on its development and utilization had taken place due to colonial suppression on one hand, foreign religions in particular, absolute lack of patriotism and political will of our Governments, and then on the other hand, the carefree attitudes of most African medical scientists of all categories. It is incontrovertible that TAM exhibits far more merits than demerits and its values can be exploited provided the Africans themselves can approach it with an open mind and scientific mentality. The degree of sensitization and mobilization by the World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged some African countries to commence serious development on TAM. The African Regional Director of the WHO has outlined a few guidelines on the responsibilities of all African nations for the realistic development of TAM, in order to sustain our health agenda and perpetuate our culture. The gradual extinction of the forests and the inevitable disappearance of the aged Traditional Medical Practitioner should pose an impending deadline for us to learn, acquire and document our medical cultural endowment for the benefit of all Africans and indeed the entire mankind. (author's)
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2000 Apr; 6(2):127-129.In recognition of the fact that local communities afflicted by malaria typically use local herbal treatments (Bitahwa et al., 1997 Willcox, 1999)-either with or instead of conventional drugs-this type of new research thinking underpins the agenda of the newly formed Research Initiative for Traditional Antimalarial Methods (RITAM) (Bodeker & Willcox, 2000b). WHO is promoting new drug cocktails, many that are derived from single ingredients of plants, as the new way to combat drug-resistant malaria. The absurd situation has arisen in which synthetic synergism is being sought after it has been rejected in its natural state. The cost of antimalarial cocktails is estimated to be up to seven times that of the already-expensive existing antimalarials. Clearly, a local, sustainable, and affordable response to malaria is called for-one that recognizes that this is where the fight against malaria began and where it continues. (excerpt)