The government will keep supporting traditional medicine to ensure that those making medicine from medicinal herbs are equipped with required skills and embrace good manufacturing practices if they are to contribute to better health of Rwandans.
Officials confirmed this earlier last week while closing of the training of over 50 traditional healers selected from across the country in Huye district.
Organised by the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) aimed at equipping participants with Good Manufacturing Practices(GMPs) skills to improve medicinal plants they develop and get quality drugs that will be able to compete with the currently imported drugs
The three-day training on Good Manufacturing Practices covered seven components namely medicinal plant cultivation and conservation, liquid form preparations techniques, solid form preparation and techniques diagnosis.
According to DR. Charles Karangwa, the Director General of Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) the government recognizes the role traditional healers in medical sector as they help treat diseases the modern drugs cannot heal.
He said that the government has put in more efforts to ensure it supports traditional healers to improve what they do and contribute to the health sector development.
He said that the cabinet has approved the basic of the law establishing the manufacturing and use of traditional medicine and was sent to parliament for scrutiny and approval.
“As government we know that you are very important and that is why such trainings by NIRDA to equip you with more practical skills were organised, we are aware that your medicine heal diseases modern medicine have failed,” he said.
He also challenged them to ensure more medicinal plants are grown for their profession to be sustainable.
“We need to ensure that we plant as more traditional plants as we can for traditional medicine to be sustainable, you need to put your efforts together and the government is ready to avail land for you,” he said.
Traditional healers have committed to among others, pass on skills to the young generation, improve what they are doing, create jobs, put much attention to their job, advocating to their profession, and work together through knowledge sharing.
Others include involvement in what the government does for them and safeguarding plants especially endangered ones, expanding the areas herbs are planted, ensuring better health for those seeking services from them.
They also committed to collaborating with government in research activities, sharing information with government institutions including security organs and local leaders to ensure better collaboration.
Gerturde Nyirahabineza president of Rwanda AGA Network said: “It is the first time we acquire such training with skilled experts from different government institutions and academia, we are grateful and we are ready to put into practice what we have learned,”
However, we still face problems, some of herbal plants are endangered and we do not have enough land to grow more plants, we are grateful that we are here to share with you such challenges for you to advocate for us and have those problems solved,” she added.
NIRDA supports the private sector including improve competitiveness and productivity through applied research.