Fresh Look At Traditional Medicine as economic hardship hits health sector in Zimbabwe

By Nevson Mpofu

Zimbabwe looks forward to new Health Research. This is meant to match with modern latest technology in the Medical field. The move from old days to today’s World has come at a time the country is struggling to procure drugs from outside using foreign currents.

A one day workshop held in Harare on 23 November  by the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe  under the theme , Health Research in Zimbabwe today .. Opportunities in a changing Environment emphasises a New Zimbabwe open for Business.

Giving a speech, the Minister of Health and Child Care, DR Obediah Moyo said the need for future focus lies in building a Health Nation tomorrow. He further pointed out that Zimbabwe which is open for Business must come up with a drive to come with new ideas in the field of medicines. The new ideas, he added must also focus on Traditional Medicines and more also on the growth of Pharmaceutical Industries for Allopathic Medicines.

‘’We now want to look Green as well in New Health research methods. The deep understanding is that Medical Research is life focused. Let us not forget that the World is changing. At the same time, let us move with the times to grapple with Technology, Research, methods and medicines moving with the times. To make the Drug Industry grow, there is need to utilise medicinal herbs. Further, this creates the growth as well of Allopathic drugs, those ones common to us ‘’.

‘’Promoting Sustainable Drug development in the wake of drug shortage retains foreign currents, leads to economic growth and Human Development. If we reach a stage where we export drugs, then we can make affordability and accessibility in the country’’.

‘’Let us not forget, we are in the modern times. Old days are gone with their times. Let us not be archaic. If we do so, we are not developing the medical field. However we need to discuss issues relating to the ethical conduct of Health research.

‘’Our main goal is therefore to ensure protection of human subjects. Since we are moving towards becoming a middle Income country. Vision then must be quality research that speaks our needs. Standardisation and co-ordination of clinical trials and Health Research requires review to align with the Health Act of 1966 and the Constitution.’’

A leading Researcher, Lynda Stranix of the University of Zimbabwe  School of Medicine said Medical Health Research is vital in today’s World. The need to work towards International standards and ethics are important in bringing professionalism in medicines control. Health Infrastructure is developed in view of fighting HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, malaria and cholera.

‘’The World is fast changing but we are moving slowly. Thus why we are now more affected by blood borne diseases, water bourn, vector bourn, Cancers and non-communicable ones. We need to move on with the times, develop best practices, qualitative research and standardise at International level as changes occur ‘’.

‘’More evidence based medicine demand research, more education on Health and to move with the times in hard times hitting us back. Useful interventions and controversies about best practices call for more justified research in communities.

The research is also more to get into Traditional medicine. Professor Charles Nhachi said the country is ready to accept and regulate more research on any new drugs. He said the need to have new trials will lead the country to successful outcome and impact of latest drugs which are efficacious.

‘’As a country we have to promote efficacy through new research studies in traditional medicines. We only come to conquer by looking wisely with fresh knowledge of Scientific Research. The country must take off traditional medicine as well as new focus in the treatment of communicable and non-ones.

Zimbabwe is going under transformation. Numerous challenges stand in the way of a prosperous and healthy society. One of the challenge is provision of quality medicines to communities. Most of the drugs for various ailments need to be imported from outside our boarders.

However, foreign current may not – be adequate to cover all essential medicines .Taking a step further he said demand , supply and adequate supply comes with research and construction of Drug Manufacturing Industry .

‘’It is therefore important to come with innovative research studies which address local needs. Eventually we need to manufacture and supply most of our drugs to satisfy human needs and wants. Government will continue to strive and source funds for research, He concluded.

Recommendations have been laid on the ground to source foreign currents to procure drugs from outside countries at the moment. This is done for the sake of improving drug supply. Also the Government will strive to source funds for research in relevant areas. The revamp of the Drug Manufacturing Industry is promoted to reduce imports and save scarce foreign currency.






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