Traditional healers call for an African health organization

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Image: SABC NewsProducers and consumers of traditional medicine say the relevance of indigenous medicines should not be downplayed in the fight against coronavirus.

The Traditional Healers’ Organisation (THO) has called on government and African leaders across the African Union to unite and forge an African health organisation akin to the World Health Organisation (WHO) but one that embraces traditional African medicine.

Producers and consumers of traditional medicine say the relevance of indigenous medicines should not be downplayed in the fight against coronavirus.

They say the popularity of traditional medicines, such as Artemisia, also known as Umhlonyane or African Wormwood, is steadily increasing, especially in rural areas.

This is despite the warnings by the WHO against the use of untested medicines, which have been touted as cures for COVID-19.

In the video below, Traditional healers call on the government to consider them in their fight against coronavirus: 

The organisation’s Phepsile Maseko says six universities and the Science and Technology Department are conducting a study to determine the efficacy of traditional medicines in the fight against coronavirus.

“As the Traditional Healers Organisation, we are saying that communities in Africa should come together and put pressure on governments to ensure that within the AU at least, we have our own African health organisation. We took 24 medicinal plants and one of the plants in that was Umhlonyane of course. We were able to reduce the list of plants to 8 in the laboratories, in the university of Free State. But we are not happy that the Department of Health keeps dragging its feet – we would like to see them putting money into this programme.”

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