By Christopher Ambe
The lack-luster attitude of the Cameroon Government towards the promotion of traditional medicine despite a call by the World Health Organization (WHO) to that effect is a cause of concern.
As such, one of the chief promoters of traditional medicine in the country, Healer Dr. Richard Fru, CEO of Garden of Eden Institute of Naturopathy West Africa (GENIWA-Buea), has prevailed on the Cameroon Government to henceforth consider investing in traditional medicine.
Healer Dr. Fru made the appeal at the Garden of Eden in Buea, August 31 while addressing a press conference on the occasion of the 13th African Traditional Medicine Day 2015.
“As we commemorate this day, I appeal to the Government of Cameroon to invest in traditional medicine regulation, research and development. This will yield positive returns in this country where traditional medicine practices and products have been highly embraced”, said the award-winning Healer Dr. Fru who has been practicing traditional medicine for 20 years. “There is need for the Government of Cameroon to include traditional medicine regulatory strategies in the National Health agenda and create budgetary lines to support the implementation of the traditional medicine strategy adopted by the WHO Regional Committee for Africa”.
He stressed the need for traditional medicine to be regulated to ensure that only genuine tradi-practitioners were practicing. “Regulation can only be possible when a law is put in place,” he noted, recalling how he had been invited by the Government at least twice to participate in meetings aimed at coming-up with a draft law on traditional medicine in Cameroo, yet till date no law exists. “There is total silence about traditional medicine. We don’t know what is happening. We are worried. However, we have kept educating the public on the importance of traditional medicine-working in line with the call of the WHO that traditional medicine is improved upon and integrated into the national health systems”
According to Healer Dr. Fru, “Current WHO estimates show that more than 80% of the people in the developing world depend on traditional medicine as the main and sometimes the only source of health care.”
This year’s theme was “Regulation of Traditional Health Practitioners (THP) in the World African Region”. The CEO thought that, if qualified practitioners are identified and supported, the public is protected against harmful practices.
Healer Dr.Fru called for a stronger partnership of government, donors, the Private Sector and other relevant stakeholders to push for the regulation of traditional medicine practice, research and development in Cameroon.
He regretted that all their efforts-such as free consultations and public health talks ,to get the public interested in traditional medicine have not attracted Government support, reason why this year, GENIWA did not organize free consultations -which according to Healer Dr. Fru was a kind of Protest against Government lack-luster attitude towards the promotion of traditional medicine.
The CEO said there is no disease that he does not cure “because I am a holistic health practitioner”, adding that he has been crisscrossing African Countries healing patients to pleasant surprise of their families.
Healer Dr. Fru believed that, the ban on the advertisement of traditional medicine by the Government of Cameroon was instigated by some highly-placed administration officials who apparently had been corrupted by pharmaceutical firms abroad. According to Healer Dr. Fru, traditional medicine is far more acceptable now in Africa than conventional medicine, making the promoters of the latter afraid. “I have never seen anybody fighting traditional medicine succeed. You cannot fight nature, for nature is God...”
Healer Dr.Fru said GENIWA, approved by the Cameroon Government, with its campus in Bamenda, will next month (October 2015) open its doors for diploma programs in the study of traditional medicine.
|Some journalists after the Press Conference pose for family picture with Dr.Fru|
The press conference ended with an exhibition of some of the well-packaged traditional medicines produced by Healer Dr. Fru.