Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cameroon:Dr.Fru Uses African Traditional Medicine Day to Reiterate World Health Organization's Call for the Promotion of Traditional Medicine & its Integration into National Health Care Systems

Dr. Fru talking to reporters August 31,2013
Dr. Fru addressing the Press conference
 By Christopher Ambe
Doctor of Naturopathy, Richard Fru,  last August 31  on the occasion of the 11th  African Traditional Medicine Day,  reiterated  the call by the World Health Organization(WHO) for  African Governments to promote traditional  medicine,which ,according to WHO estimates ,over 80% of Africans depend on it for their health needs.
  Dr.Fru,  who is the Founder/CEO of the Garden of Eden   Naturopathic Institute of West Africa(GENIWA) was addressing a press conference in Buea convened to honor this year’s African Traditional Medicine Day-a day set aside by the UNO.He told journalists that the WHO has also urged African governments to integrate    traditional medicine in to national health care systems.
   Dr. Fru   was speaking to over 22 media organs  at GENIWA head office at  Wonya-Mavio Muea-Road-Buea.
  The press conference was preceded by free consultation,which saw many  people turn up for diagnosis and treatment with traditional medicine,produced by the institute.
  It should be noted that  Dr. Fru recently did Cameroon proud by winning a  HEALTH EXCELLENCE AWARD from the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines(IBAM).  The IBAM last March also awarded to  Dr.Fru the  professional qualification of “Doctor of Naturopathy”.
  The CEO of GENIWA  hoped that the Cameroon government would soon   pass a law that regulates  the practice of traditional medicine in the country.

  Below is Dr.Fru’s  speech delivered at the conference,which was followed by a question-and -answer session:
GENIWA Celebrates the 11th African Traditional Medicine Day, 31 August 2013.
Theme: "Traditional Medicine Research and Development"

 “Research shows that more than two third of the world's plants species are estimated to have medicinal value. Also, Current World Health Organization (WHO) estimates shows that for 80 percent (%) of the people in the developing world, traditional medicine is the main and sometime the only source of health care.
  In our region, in Africa, Traditional medicine has strong historical and cultural origins. Whereas European missionaries and colonial administrators to an extent encouraged traditional medicine in India and China, they almost violently discouraged African Traditional Medicine (ATM).
  Most particularly, the intricate relationship between African Medicine and African religion made traditional medicine practice key targets of attack by early European Christian Missionaries, who considered many African religious rites and rituals to be against Christian teachings and morals. Traditional healers were regarded as heathens because of their participation in African Traditional Religion.
   The beginning of civilization and the healing arts can be traced back to Africa and the divine Inmhotep, healer to the Pharaohs.
  The ancient African healers had an elaborate materia medica, which most of the over 5,000 plant species have been used for food and medicines for centuries. There is no clear distinction in African traditional medicines as to when a herb ceases to be a health food and becomes a medicine.
   Unlike India, China and other parts of the world, the traditions of Africa have not been documented leaving African medicinal species under represented in modern herbal medicine. Many species are already endangered and some to be lost to deforestation before we ever know them.
   The commemoration of the African Traditional Medicine Day (ATMD) coincides with the date 31 August 2000, on which the ministers of Health adopted the relevant resolution at their 50th session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
   The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that more than eighty percent (80%) of Africans depend on traditional medicine for their health needs.
  2009 celebration of the ATMD was under the theme, "Traditional Medicine and Patient Safety". This theme called upon member states to scale up institutionalization and integration of TM into National Health Systems (NHS) as well as promote research in the field. Member states were therefore urged to conduct advocacy / educational programmes and also to provide update reports on the status of implementation of 11th priority areas of the plan of Action on the African Union first Decade of African Traditional Medicine which was designated as 2001-2010 in order to facilitate early compilation of a consolidated, comprehensive and accurate End-Of-Decade report.
  A plan of Action and Implementation Mechanism for the Decade was adopted by AU conference of Ministers of Health and endorsed by the 2003 Maputo African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government.
  The main objective of the Plan of Action was to accelerate the recognition, acceptance, development, inetgration and institutionalization of Traditional Medicine (TM) by member states into the Public Health Care System (PHCS) in Africa by 2010.
   The commitments were made in recognition that TM is not only a health issue but also a cultural Heritage which must be protected and preserved. Quoting Dr.Louis Samba, the Regional director of WHO during the first celebration of ATMD in 2003, he said, "Traditional Medicine is our heritage, our culture, our way of life, our pride and our future".
   The Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care (PHC) IN 1978 recognized the role of Traditional Medicine (TM) and its practitioners as important allies in achieving Health-For-All.
  In 2001, the Lusaka Assembly Decision declared the period 2001-2010 as the Decade for African Traditional Medicine (ATM). In this framework, the Maputo Summit of 2003 also declared 31st August each year as the Day for African Traditional Medicine.
    It is over ten years (10years) now, unfortunately no significant progress has been made in Cameroon when it comes to integrating traditional medicine into the National Health Care System (NHCS) of the country.
   Unfortunately, this is still the area where the DOMINANT CULTURE is being marginalized.
   Ingrain in our minds is the virus of ignorance, greed and selfishness that has eaten deep into the immune system of our minds and consciences, weakening them from reasoning and utilizing and promoting the use of our green gold (plants) for the betterment of our society.
   God has in fact, made life so easy, beautiful and enjoyable, but man is the one complicating it because of lack of True revelation knowledge and unbelieves. Many people have failed to realize that Education is different from knowledge. Many pray that, traditional medicine which has its own philosophy and believe about disease or infirmity should be carried to the laboratory and tested to see how it can kill microbes which are believed in allopathic or orthodox medicine to be the cause of sickness.
Exhibition of well-packaged medicines  produced  by Dr. Fru
The Germ Theory of Disease is the foundation of Western or allopathic Medicine and has been the basis for innovations such as antibiotics and hygiene practices. The Germ Theory was validated in the 19th century following the work of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) and Robert Koch (1843-1910). It proposes that micro-organisms are the cause of many diseases.
    Conventional or allopathic medicine concentrates in studying of disease (pathology) and its eradication and NOT enough in studying health and how to create and sustain it.
   This is in fact, where the great divide exists between conventional and African Traditional Medicine which view health in a holistic perspective.

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