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"Gambia on track to integrating traditional medicine'

Sep 6, 2010, 11:55 AM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

(Friday, 3rd September 2010 issue)
Dr. Adama Demba deputy Director of Health Services has said that the country is in high gear toward integrating traditional medicine in the health care delivery system. She was speaking at the commemoration of African Traditional Medicine Day held on Tuesday 31st August 2010 at the KMC hall in Kanifing.

"The Gambia with the support of WHO is no exception in this drive and thus together the Gambia has charted and developed a policy and now the country is in high gear in integrating traditional medicine into the health care delivery system," Dr. Demba announced.

She stated that the day was set aside by WHO and African governments for the commemoration of African Traditional Medicine.

The theme for the celebration this year has spoken for itself and worthy of noting because of the unique reference it has accorded to the promotion of traditional medicine, she went on.

"The theme for this year is 'Traditional Medicine Decade Progress So Far' speaks for itself as the idea of setting aside a decade for the promotion of traditional medicine in the African continent was initiated by an illustrious son of the Gambia, Dr. Malick Samba who was then WHO Regional Director for Africa," she added.

According to her, African countries worked tirelessly towards the realization of the rational use of medicine produced by traditional healers as a matter of principle.

Also speaking on the occasion, KMC mayor Yankuba Colley said time and science have proven that traditional medicine remains a vital component in the treatment of ailments of all sort diseases in every part of the world.

"Although we live in a modernized and scientific world, case studies have established the vitality of traditional medicine in our society beyond reasonable doubt," he said.

Meanwhile, the event that marked the Eight African Traditional Medicine Day was described by many who attended the occasion as a milestone in the history of traditional medicine in Africa.

The annual event also coincides with the commemoration of ten years since the adoption of the regional strategy on promoting the role of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems.

The day was also marked with, among other things, the commemoration of the unprecedented declaration by heads of state and government of Africa that the period 2001-2010 be recognized as the Decade of African Traditional Medicine.