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Traditional medicine is essential to health delivery

Sep 1, 2011, 1:45 PM

Traditional medicine is an important component of any effective health delivery system.

Normally, in the developing countries, most sick people instead of going to seek medical treatment from medical professionals prefer to visit traditional healers first, before going to the hospital.

There is a need for medical professionals to work closely with traditional healers so that they can be trained on the signs and symptoms of diseases, so that if patients come to their centers they would be able to refer them to the hospital.

The Gambia through the National Traditional Medicine Programme of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has done a good job in the area of traditional medicine, as the program was able to bring together all traditional healers under one umbrella.

The program was able to come up with a traditional medicine policy which was formulated in 2005, and the government is committed towards the implementation of the policy.

All that the program needs at this present moment is support from both the government and partners in order to effectively run their activities at the grassroots level.

It is high time for governments and partners to support the traditional healers’ center, since this would enable the traditional healers to equip their centers.

It is also time for medical professionals to embark on research, so as to come up with evidence-based research on traditional medicine.