African Day of Traditional Medicine: The actors

This five day encounter grouping stakeholders of traditional medicine is an opportunity for all actors to identify some of the problems encountered in the process treatment.

Arguably, one of the most important issues is identifying the right doctor for the right treatment.

The fact that most traditional doctors do not have recognized attributes makes it difficult to identify the real from the fake doctors.

It is on this grounds that the National Syndicate for Traditional Practitioners was created.

Members say its time to put order in the sector that has been plagued with what many consider as charlatans.

One of the first demands of the group is for government to assist them get medical training. Many argue that a traditional practitioner does not necessarily undergo formal training,

It is sometimes a natural calling as a traditional doctor, Marc Tsopi Mezekouang affirms;

“When I was still in my teens, I gradually developed interest in this form of medicine because my grand father was a traditional doctor. I will follow him to the forest where I learned more about the different plants and their uses. My grand father introduced me to it and I gradually became a healer under his guardianship.”

Marc Tsopi Mezekouang gradually gained independence through research and other field findings.

He adds that there are different types of training depending on the geographical location and traditional practices.

He says some training can last for three months or more depending on the interest.

The good news is, there is the availability of the different plants to facilitate comprehension.

Marc Tsopi however cautions that the training process is intense and demands total commitment. He expresses gratitude to government for this opportunity to sensitize the population on treatment based on natural plants.

Walter Songweh on his part states that traditional medicine is understanding the environment and the cultural practices of the people.

“The different field trips in the learning process, become necessary because there are different plants and different combination of plants that are composed for the treatment of specific illnesses,” he elucidates.

Walter Songweh however identifies the lack of finance as the main stumbling block in the development of the sector.

“With enough finance, traditional medicine will have better packaging and distribution for the benefit of more patients,” he explains.

The five-day encounter at the Faculty of Medicine in Yaounde if anything, is an opportunity to make the diagnosis of the problems faced by the different stakeholders.

The creation of a syndicate grouping traditional practitioners is therefore an important step towards organizing the sector in all its facets.

Ekane Metuge (Intern)

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