Zimbabweans urged to use traditional medicines

Albert Chavhunduka

Although the use of traditional medicines has grown in popularity and is playing a major role in meeting basic health care needs for many local communities across Zimbabwe, this rich field of indigenous knowledge is inadequately documented.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, there was a spike in the use of traditional medicines as both food and medicine to boost the body’s immune system to fight against diseases such as Covid-19 among many others.

A Chinese physician of orthopaedics and member of the China Medical Team to Zimbabwe Dr Jiang Chengming is making use of social media to teach the local people to identify local plants that can be used for the treatment of diseases.

Dr Jiang, an enthusiast of Chinese traditional medicines, is very passionate about sharing his knowledge with Zimbabweans, who he said are also eager to learn more about the use and identification of natural herbs.

“Many Zimbabweans have shown great interest in traditional medicines, they are part of their culture and have been used for many generations,” said Dr Jiang.

“They are eager for me to share more information about how to identify these herbs. This makes me feel very happy. Let more Zimbabweans know and apply traditional medicines to treat diseases and benefit their people.

“Chinese people have used traditional medicines for thousands of years. A large number of traditional medicine books record various diseases and treatment methods.”

Dr Jiang said he is committed to use his experience in traditional medicines and teach the local people about the advantages of using traditional medicines.

“Some people have already used this herb I recently introduced on Twitter to treat high blood pressure (BP). Know that herbs are natural and have rare side effects and they are nature’s gift to humankind, easy to obtain and so on,” he said.

“I have some experience in treating furuncle, superficial abscess, purulent phalangeitis, back carbuncle and knife injury with Chinese traditional medicine. I will continue to work hard to find more herbs in Zimbabwe and teach those interested the different methods of how to collect and use them. I will take practical action to benefit the people of Zimbabwe.”

To complement the country’s health care system, in 2020 the Ministry of health inaugurated the Zimbabwe-China Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture Center at Parirenyatwa hospital. The center involves the use and inclusion of traditional Chinese medicines in the health care system for the improvement of the outcomes for patients.

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