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African Traditional Medicine Day held in Asmara

African Traditional Medicine Day was held today at the Orota National Referral Hospital.

Asmara, 31 August 2015 – African Traditional Medicine Day was held today at the Orota National Referral Hospital.  The central theme of the event revolved around the imperative of putting in place robust mechanisms to check undesirable traditional healing practices’.

In this context, the Director of National Medicine and Food Administration at the Ministry of Health, Mr. Eyasu Bahta, underlined that the event was organized following a thorough assessment of the impact of traditional medicine in the overall health spectrum.   The overriding objective was to reinforce implementation of the regulations drafted to ensure the provision of secure traditional healing services.

Mr. Iyasu further noted that traditional healing practices, which are widely used in Eritrea, have not been completely reliable.  This is principally because the practices are often applied without conducting meticulous study on the advantages and potential side effects.   Mr. Eyasu underlined the need to implement relevant laws as well as directives concerning the activities of traditional healers.

Mr. Semere Gebregergis, from the office of the World Health Organization (WHO,) on his part stated that the event was vital for creating a conducive platform to ensure the safety of public health services.  The deliberations were critical to encourage regulated traditional medical practices with the necessary safeguards  as well as in narrowing the gap between modern and traditional medical services.

Dr. Samson Abbay, pediatrician at the Southern Region Referral Hospital, submitted a paper that highlighted the potential health hazards on children by certain traditional medical practices.
Participants in the event conducted extensive discussions on the importance of encouraging  regulated traditional health practices, enhancement of public awareness on all aspects of  traditional healing in the country as well as  institutional networking and ties between modern and traditional medical services.

The Ministry of Health had conducted an inclusive workshop, bringing together all stakeholders, in July last month with the aim of drafting appropriate regulations on traditional health practices.

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