EDITORIAL: Traditional medicine is an important aspect in future healthcare

Today, the medical world is flooded with all sorts of cures, from traditional, ground breaking discoveries to outright quacks and charlatans. Every year, scientists make new discoveries that open new avenues to cure complications and increase life expectancy. That is how medicine has evolved over the years.

Today, the medical world is flooded with all sorts of cures, from traditional, ground breaking discoveries to outright quacks and charlatans.

Every year, scientists make new discoveries that open new avenues to cure complications and increase life expectancy. That is how medicine has evolved over the years. But before the advent of modern medicine, human kind always had some sorts of cures, many passed down generations of traditional healers.

Today traditional healers are looked down upon especially because they have managed to attract many conmen who have made it a habit to fleece unsuspecting patients.

But in some societies, such as in India and China, traditional medicine has a place of honour and sometimes is preferred over modern medicine. That is because their drugs have been trusted for centuries and undergone many stages of research.

In Rwanda it is not different. Traditional healers have always been around but their regulation has always been lacking. Their medicine, dosage and production are not harmonized yet some of the medicine has been in existence and proven its worth for centuries.

Today the tide is beginning to change with over 3,000 herbalists and another 14,000 unregistered, the government has seen it fit to streamline their operations, share knowledge with the ultimate aim of developing and modernizing traditional medicine.

That is where it has set its sights; making traditional knowledge productive and even incorporate it in the Made-in-Rwanda basket that can even be exported.

It will not be an easy endevour and some herbalists will need to be convinced to share their secrets which many are reluctant to do. But in the end it is the ultimate good it will do to modern science that might convince them.

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