HEALTH and Child Care Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora, has called upon traditional medicine practitioners to register with his ministry and comply with the law.
The Ministry has recognised traditional medicine as a complementary modality of healthcare and is encouraging research on the effectiveness and safety of traditional medicine.
Dr Mombshora visited the Chinese Traditional Medicine Centre at Parirenyatwa Hospital on Wednesday to learn more about traditional medicine practices and how they can be better regulated in the country.
The Chinese traditional medicine and acupuncture centre at Parirenyatwa Hospital was opened in 2020, and it has been offering effective and affordable care to thousands of patients.
Zimbabwe has embraced the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) and recognises the benefits of traditional medicine, but emphasises the need for regulation to ensure patients’ safety.
“We now have a department in the ministry which is responsible for that and we also have a council which oversees the practice of traditional medicine.
“Government has embraced ZINATHA because we have seen the benefits and we have seen people that have been treated successfully.
“However, we need to strengthen the laws and regulations to make sure that fake practitioners are not allowed to practice, and that’s why there is registration. That registration ensures that traditional medical practitioners operate within the law,” said Dr Mombeshora.
He also noted that Zimbabwe could learn from China’s advanced traditional medicine sector.
“We are also making strides in strengthening traditional medicine and we now have a council to regulate this sector.
“Most of our traditional medicine practitioners have not gone through formal training, so we are trying to put in place regulations to make sure that patients are protected.
“We understand that China is very advanced in the area of traditional medicines and has hospitals dealing with traditional medicine, and we would like to learn from them how they have managed to get that far.”