Govít cautions use of alternative medicine
In a bid to streamline traditional and alternative medicine, the Ministry of Health has warned that any medical act performed or wished to be performed on a human being must have prior authorization.
The warning was contained in a communiqué issued Friday.
The title of “Medical Doctor” must be recognised by nationally competent and authorised institutions such as the Rwanda Medical Council or the Ministry of Health
According to experts, alternative medicine is any practice claiming to heal that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine.
It may be based on historical or cultural traditions, rather than on scientific evidence.
Some of these include reflexology, and other medicine which has gained prominence in the recent past.
According to Arthur Asiimwe, the head of division, Rwanda Health Communication Centre, this was done in order to stop uncoordinated operations by providers.
Without outlining the types of medicine, Asiimwe said the ministry will have to set regulations that will guide the operations and creation of an umbrella body of providers of alternative medication to regulate their activities.
“Within a month we will have a meeting with those offering the services so that we reach an understanding” he continued.
The minister also warned that any use of medical or health-related titles that are not recognised by the Ministry of Health are prohibited and liable to punishment according to the Rwanda Penal Code.
“The title of “Medical Doctor” must be recognised by nationally competent and authorised institutions such as the Rwanda Medical Council or the Ministry of Health,” he said.
“Any form of advertising/promotions which is capable of misleading the public or giving them biased or incomplete information about preventive, diagnostic, or curative properties of medicines or other health related products is prohibited,” the communiqué continued.
According to Asiimwe, these service providers have their advertisements all over the place. He warned them against any public display or sale of drugs and other health products outside an authorised pharmaceutical establishment.
“It is an offence and punishable for any person or individual who sells or displays medicines and other pharmaceutical products in markets or in public places or in any other unauthorized places.”
“The Ministry of Health wishes to assure the public that it will take the necessary measures to ensure that accurate, right and legal information on healthcare services, medicines and other health related commodities is communicated to the public,” reads the communiqué.
Through the notice, the ministry also appealed to institutions concerned to comply with the provisions of the law “and the Ministry of Health will monitor its implementation.”