By Gloria Nakajubi
Researchers and scientists have said more research should be carried out on herbal medicine.
According to Professor George Kirya, a microbiologist and Board Chairperson Advocacy for Professionalism in Healthcare, scientists need to dymystify the claims by traditional practitioners and prove whether these concoctions are effective or not.
“There is no reason why we should not carry out clinical research on the various herbs traditional practitioners claim are effective on the diseases we treat conventionally instead of just rubbishing them,” Kirya noted.
Kirya explained that traditional practitioners have come up with concoctions they claim treat cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes and high blood pressure which continue to prove a challenge to conventional medicine.
Citing the case of China and India where traditional medicine is given priority, Professor John Rwomushana, a pathologist advised that policies should be put in place to highlight indigenous medicine as the primary option other than being considered as an alternative.
“This is the more reason we need guidelines on how these traditional health practitioners operate because this is both a goldmine and a time bomb if not regulated,” he noted.
Claude Kirimuhuzya, the Secretary General Uganda Pharmacological Society argued that herbalists in their current state are not protected from international manufacturers who easily manipulate them.
“We have carried out research on certain concoctions especially on Tuberculosis and some have been found to have varying results with some effective while others non responsive,” Kirimuhuzya said.
He added that scientists need to work closely with traditional practitioners since these have a lot of potential that could greatly contribute towards overcoming the increasing health challenges in the country.
In his remarks, State Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic development expressed the need to prioritise research so as to achieve the country’s development goals.
“We need safer and more efficient strategies for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, T.B, Diabetes, cancer among others,” he said.
Kasaija asked the researchers to desist from taking on projects that have no social impact.