By Azore Opio (The Post newspaper October 30 2009)
A cross-section of traditional health practitioners, THPs, based in the South West Region October 22-24 at the Executive Hotel, Buea, brainstormed on how to work Together with Medical Practitioners.
The workshop that held under the auspices of AFRICAphonie with Mwalimu George Ngwane as Executive Director came in the wake of continual conflicts of interest between the two health practices.
Among the many questions raised that THPs encounter such as illegality, quackery and the non-ratification of the law on traditional medicine; widespread and increasing use of complementary and alternative therapies, the participants agreed that the health care system today is a dynamic, rapidly changing world of multiple healing modalities that overlap and interact on many levels.
The THPs highlighted many of the key issues facing them today-including assessing information, effectiveness and integration of traditional, complementary and alternative health care.
It is within this backdrop that Prof. G.L Monekosso in his representation cited the opportunities that could enhance collaboration between the THPs and medical practitioners to include exchange of patients between the two systems making maximum use of their respective strengths; traditional culture should collaborate with modern scientific culture; shortcuts to the discovery of new drugs from medicinal plants; integration of traditional medicine into the national health system.
On their part, the THPs resolved that for a more meaningful and productive collaboration to thrive between them and the medics, certificates from THPs should be officially recognized; THPs should be integrated as “Teachers” into medical school programmes; THP finding should be exposed internationally for possible improvement’ the state should fund research into and subsidize traditional medicine and above all there should be pure collaboration, not domination of one practice by the other.