KABALE – The Director for the Natural Chemotherapeutic Research Institute (NCRI) Dr. Grace Nambatya Kyeyune has asked parliament to enact a law to regulate the activities of herbalists.
Dr. Nambatya made the request on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, while speaking during the Kabale University Public Lecture, on African Indigenous knowledge and health practices in the 21st century held at the university main hall in Kabale University.
According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that over 60% of Ugandans seek medical attention from Traditional Healers.
Dr. Nambatya who is also a board member at National Drug Authority noted that it is unbelievable that the country has no national policy to regulate the activities of the traditional healers yet there is need to formulate a policy to track, regulate traditional medicine this includes intensive research in traditional medicines to ensure proper determination and monitoring of drug safety he suggested.
Nambatya also said that Ugandans should appreciate and use natural products since the health ministry also looks at the quality of the products to ensure that they are commensurate with the health standards.
“As Ugandans we want you to appreciate our nature and supporting the health ministry in boosting these herbs,” said Dr. Nambatya.
Dr. Nambatya further asked the public to involve themselves in activities of conserving the environment and preserving cultural norms and values including cultural sites for the future generation.
Closing the lecture, the Kabale University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Allen Babugura said that the reluctance by most Ugandans to use herbal medicine in favour of Western medicine was due colonialists who discouraged locals against taking herbs, saying Western medicine was better as well as some religious leaders who say that the herbs are Satan.
“Our local herbs are being hindered by our attitude to the western culture and religions who call them satanic. We, therefore, need a combined effort from such cults to encourage their congregation on the need and values of these herbs” Babugabura noted.