The National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) on Wednesday started a three-day training of traditional healers on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) to equip them with the necessary skills to be able to make improved medicinal herbs.
Currently, traditional healers face challenges of lack of skills needed to improve their products and some of them still work in disorganized ways hence affecting their productivity and quality.
NIRDA believes that once traditional healers are supported through research and other ways, they can improve their products, which can be packaged, labeled have all it is required to be standardized.
The training on Good Manufacturing Practices covers seven components namely medicinal plant cultivation and conservation, liquid form preparations techniques, solid form preparation and techniques diagnosis
Others include pharmacology and toxicology, drug quality control safety and registration and intellectual rights and registration.
The training of traditional healers brings together over 50 practitioners selected from across the country and participants will acquire skills from national Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA), experts from academia and others from the Food and Drug Authority among others.
Opening the training Dr. Olivier Kamana, head of Applied Research and Development and foresight Incubation department said that NIRDA wants to support traditional healer change the way they operate work with them shift from traditional to modern ways of developing medicinal herbs.
“We want to equip you with skills that can help you improve your manufacturing and produce locally made products that can be packaged, sold and compete with the medicine we currently import,” Kamana said.
Traditional healers who attended the training welcomed it saying it was long overdue, adding that they were optimistic that the training would help them change the way they used to do the business.
Gertrude Nyirahabineza, the president of AGA Rwanda network said the training will help them be able to acquire skills in modern ways of developing improved medicine and have their products registered and have rights on their respective products.
“We have a lot of issues that we need to fix including people who call themselves traditional healers while they are not, this training will help us know we can register our products and have intellectual properties so that we can prevent fake traditional healers," Nyirahabineza said.
“This training is very important. I am glad I was selected to attend it, I Hope in the three days I will have acquired necessary skills on good practices, I want to know what it takes to develop better products, I also want to know what it takes to have my products registered,” said Bertha Kamanazi, one of the participants.
NIRDA supports private sector to enable a generation of industrial innovators to become competitive through technology monitoring, acquisition, development, and transfer applied and research.