Traditional medicine still popular

KIREHE – The use of traditional medicine in Kirehe district is still common among residents.

KIREHE – The use of traditional medicine in Kirehe district is still common among residents.

Residents say herbalists can easily be found in any market in the district.

While talking to The New Times yesterday, several residents said they still trust the strength of traditional medicine despite the existence of health facilities.

“I last had malaria in 1984 and that’s because I use herbs. I have medical insurance which I got recently, but it only helps my children but not me,” said Maria Mukagatare, 55.

“There is no single Rwandan who is ignorant about the power of the herbs.”

A traditional healer popularly known as Dr. Samuel Barigira, 27, sells herbs in all the rural markets in the province. He boasts of healing many patients with different ailments.

Barigira learned the power of herbs from his late grandmother and says his job is earning him good fortune.
“I have all types of traditional herbs.

My grandmother did me great service by giving me the skills. I treat people and make ends meet easily. I don’t even need to go to markets,” he said.

However, the ‘Doctor’ laments that occasionally he is disturbed by authorities asking him about his license.
“Sometimes they close my business claiming that I don’t have the required credentials. In such circumstances, I operate from my house.”

Jean Murekezi is one of Barigira’s patients.  He says “people queue for hours for the traditional medicine man. They know the names of all portions and when a certain type is not available, the doctor gives them an appointment.”

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