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Traditional Healer on the Origin of Traditional Medicine

Sep 8, 2009, 8:34 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Mr Salieu Puye, a traditional healer and the Vice President of the Traditional Healers Assembly of the Gambia has said that in African traditional medicine has always existed and was practised more than we think. He said that people knew how to cure and care for themselves using plants even before the white colonial masters arrived and introduced their modern medicine.

According to him, traditional medicine has open natural and non-natural cases example of which is the red blood case. He added that the WHO described traditional medicine in a publication of 1978 as the entity of all knowledge of all explicable and inexplicable methods of diagnosis, prevention and removal of physical, mental and social imbalances based only on the personal experience and the observation passed on form generation to generation.

He noted that god has given us 500,000 flowering plant as gift and about 10% of them are used in traditional medicine.

Mr Puye however calls for the co-operation of the Ministry of Health and WHO to benefit the poor people so as to reduce the cost spent on the conventional medicine.

Dilating on the aim and objectives of assembly, Mr Puye said that his assembly will continue to promote traditional medicine by combating diseases that prevalent in the Gambia, to foster better relationship between department of health and the community, to promote health by educating the community and assisting in the up keep of sanitary status of the environment among others.

He said they also had meeting with two forestry experts at the National Planing Commission where important issues relating to the identification of important plant spices grown in Gambia and how inventories and mapping could be done to safe some of the spices were discussed.