#CoronavirusSA: 'Include traditional healers in vaccine research'
06:27 Wed, 20 May 2020
#CoronavirusSA: 'Include traditional healers in vaccine research' | News Article
The Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) commission has appealed to South African and international scientists and doctors to include traditional health practitioners and to co-ordinate their efforts in finding a vaccine and cure for Covid-19.

As the fight with Covid-19 continues, various countries have imposed lockdowns globally in efforts to mitigate the rapid spread of the virus, which has robbed people of their loved ones and has left thousands without livelihoods.

To date there are about 4,928,701 cases of Covid-19 worldwide, 320,964 fatalities and 1,929,951 according to Worldometer.

In a statement dated 18 May, the commission encouraged all governments of the world to take on board allopathic, non-allopathic and indigenous interventions worldwide.

It said that it is aware of the potential and the effectiveness of traditional and natural healing for a variety of physical and emotional illnesses.

Therefore, the commission strongly encourages the inclusion of traditional African health practitioners in the worldwide search for remedies that can help fight the virus.

The collaboration provides an opportunity for the realisation of the World Health Organisation’s Traditional Medicine (TM) Strategy 2014–2023 developed in response to the World Health Assembly resolution on traditional medicine.

This resolution implores member states to harness the potential contribution of traditional medicine to health, wellness and people-centred health care, according to the statement. 

It said that the profound health and socio-economic impact of Covid-19 globally highlights the urgency of developing small scale and local economic initiatives, including the growth of indigenous medicinal plants.

Because of this, the commission has called for the establishment of a South African institute for integrated African herbal medicine in which the traditional health practitioners are a significant part.

Among other things, the institute will deal with research, cultivation and processing of medicinal plants to determine the effectiveness and quality of the medicine required.

It said that the institution will serve as a practical response to the long awaited intervention repeatedly echoed by African governments.

According to the statement, in 2000 at the Fiftieth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa resolved to urge member states to accelerate all policy formulations, prioritisation of health production systems and processes that do not only facilitate but afford them the space to produce evidence on the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicine.

The commission commended all efforts that are being made both locally and globally to develop vaccines and a cure.

Prof David Mosoma, chairperson of the CRL Rights Commission thanked the South African Government for its dedication and efforts to combat the spread and impact of Covid-19 in South Africa.

According to the latest statistics provided by the minister of health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, South Africa has 16,433 positive cases of Covid-19, 286 deaths and 7,298 recoveries.

African News Agency 

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