The Session Chairperson informed the Conference that the session was a general one and delegates were invited to give their views and experiences on Traditional Medicine as stipulated in the theme of the Conference.
Dr. Brancho from Venezuela spoke on behalf of the South Commission. He pointed out that there is a growing interest and demand of Medicinal Plants in the World due to economical problems in developing countries, environmental consciousness and the apparent destruction of plants.
Dr. J. Koori, the Vice-Minister for Health, Cuba, outlined policies being taken to incorporate Traditional Medicine in health care. These include the training of medical students in the field of Traditional Medicine, setting up of regional pharmacopoeia, cooperating and collaborating with other countries, and encouraging scientific research in Traditional Medicine.
Dr. Amando Caceres, Director of Traditional Medicine in Guatemala informed the Conference that Guatemala had established a commission to promote and evaluate the use of Traditional Medicine.
Professor E.A. Sofowora from Nigeria discussed the economic aspects of Medicinal plants. He recommended the formation of an International South Commission to be responsible for information and material exchange, to take care of the geographical elements, and village level plant processing and production.
Dr. J. Arnoldo, Ministry of Health, Venezuela, recommended collective efforts to promote traditional medicine in Latin America. He supported the Cuban idea of establishing regional Latin American pharmacopoeia so as to give the best sources of medicinal plants. He said Venezuela is in the process of introducing courses on traditional medicine for the general practitioners.
Prof. E. Estrella, special representative of the Ministry of health, Ecuador, said Traditional Medicine was totally outside the country's medical programme. Efforts were being made to legalise it in health care. Ecuador was in a process of taking necessary political, scientific and other actions to promote Traditional Medicine in the country.
Dr. K. Bhat from Venezuela strongly supported collective effort on the promotion of Traditional Medicine in the South through international cooperation.
Dr. W. Johnson, Minister for Health, Sierra Leone, emphasized the need for scientists in the South to disseminate their research findings on Traditional Medicine to the general public.
Dr. Z.R. Xiang, Deputy Director of Science and Technology Department, State Administration of traditional Medicine of Peoples Republic of China, presented the abundant Chinese experience in research, exploitation and utilization of Traditional Medicinal plants which is now a parallel health care system in the country, citing a number of outstanding achievements in different areas including the discovery of Artemisinine, an antimalarial drug.
Prof. A. Abondo from Cameroon strongly advised on the need for distinguishing traditional medicine from witchcraft, and stressed the need for educating the public on the myth and reality of such medicines. He was also of the opinion that Traditional Medical practitioners should observe hygienic conditions in their course of practice.
Finally Dr. Bracho summarized the views expressed by the various speakers, again emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts in the evaluation of medicinal plants. He then pointed out that a report is in the course of being prepared for the South Commission on the conference's conclusions and recommendations.
In summary all the speakers strongly stressed on the urgent need to legalize, promote, coordinate, and accept traditional medicine as a parallel health care system in the South.
Chairman: Prof. E. A. Sofowora
Rapporteur: Prof M.H.H. Nkunya
Prof. P.M. Sarungi from Tanzania stressed on the need to popularize the use of Traditional Medicine in the South in order to improve health care, particularly in the rural areas where modern medicine is inadequate. He mentioned also the need to preserve and, if possible, cultivate those plant species which are threatened with extinction due to excessive commercial exploitation and villagilization schemes. He also emphasized on the need for more financial inputs to enable the collection of information on medicinal plants and their final scientific evaluation.
Dr. Kofi - Tsekpo from Kenya pointed out the need to identify safety, toxicity and efficacy of Traditional Medicinal Plants in the course of the scientific evaluation of these resources. This can be simplified if ethnobotanical data, methods of Traditional drug preparation and formulation and effective collaboration among botanists, phytochemists, pharmacists and pharmacologists are documented. He also commented on the recent reports of a discovery in Kenya of an anti-AIDS drug.
Prof. Boukef from Tunisia outlined the experience of Tunisia in scientific evaluation of Traditional Medicinal Plants. He also cited an example where improved agronomical methods can improve the content of active ingredients in Medicinal Plants.
Prof. Bhat from Venezuela cautioned that no natural product should be discarded as being useless before being extensively evaluated biologically for a number of activities. He then gave eight examples where crude extracts from traditional Medicinal Plants were successfuly used to cure patients suffering from various forms of cancer, some of the patients having undergone extensive treatment with modern medicine but without success. Some had actually been considered to be terminal cases.
Prof. Koumare from Mali outlined the primary health care policy of his country with emphasis on the use of Traditional Medicines. The policy is based on legal, social and scientific grounds. He deplored the negative attitude of some modern medical practitioners who look upon traditional Medicine as being primitive and ineffective.
Dr. Jonathan from Lesotho presented her results on the phytochemical studies of a Colombian medicinal plant. Some of the compounds which she had isolated showed marked antitumour activity.
Mr. Shauri from Tanzania outlined efforts being made in Tanzania to incorporate Traditional Medicine in health care. He deplored the present attitude of medical personnel of referring complicated medical cases from traditional Medical practitioners to modern hospitals but not vice versa. He also deplored the present attitude of medical personnel of referring complicated medical cases from Traditional Medical practitioners to modern hospitals but not vice versa. He also deplored the incorporation of mythious beliefs, such as witchcraft, traditional malpractices (e.g. sacrifices, etc) and the so called godly punishment as a cause of illness.
Dr. Rwangabo from Rwanda gave a brief description of the Centre for Traditional Medicine Research in his country (CURPHAMETRA), and its activities and achievements, citing an example of a scientific evaluation of two Rwandese medicinal plants.
Prof. Nkunya from Tanzania presented his results on the study of medicinal plants for their antimalarial activity, emphasizing on the need for collaborative efforts between traditional medical practitioners, botanists, pharmacologists, chemists, toxicologists, and the pharmaceutical industry. He cautioned the long term dangers of using crude plant extracts for medicinal purpose without extensive toxicological studies since quite a number of hitherto biologically active plants have also been found to be highly toxic to humans.
Dr. Shauri was asked to comment on the methods of standardization and determination of the dosage of Traditional Medicines he gives to bis patients, and how he collaborates with various scientific disciplines, particularly the Traditional Medicine Research Unit.
In reply, he admitted that standardization and determination of the dosage of traditional medical preparation, considering the diverse chemical compositions of these drugs, is difficult and challenging. However, through his collaboration with the Traditional Medicine Research Unit and various departments at the Muhimbili Medical Centre, Dar es Salaam, he had tried to standarized the dosages for drugs used for skin diseases.
Dr. Jonathan was asked on how she had performed the treatments, using the compounds she had isolated.
She replied that her work had only involved laboratory experimentation and ho clinical.
Prof. Sarungi was asked to comment on the production of Cinchona bark in Tanzania. In reply Prof. Sarungi, being assisted by Prof. Kilama from Tanzania outlined the history of Cinchona tree plantations and reported the bark is being exported for extraction of quinine.
Dr. Fernandes from Angola objected to all presentations, saying that African scientists are taking the wrong course in scientific evaluation and usage of Traditional Medicines. Without citing specific methods, he advised African scientists to follow Cuba's, other Latin American, and also Chinese policies.
Dr. Kofi was requested to comment further on the AIDS drug which is reportedly to have been discovered in Kenya, and how the plant had been chosen. In reply Dr. Kofi remarked that the drug had not been obtained from a plant, but rather it is a form of interferon, obtained through genetic engineering. He also said that the AIDS patients had been treated with the drugs are still being followed.
Prof. Boukef was requested to elaborate on the antihypertensive property of his drugs. Prof. Boukef elaborated on how he had carried out the antihypertensive tests.
Dr. Kofi wondered about the methods used to identify the real Traditional Medicine practitioners. Do they pass any exams? Prof. Koumare replied that the real Traditional Medicine practitioners are recognized from within the village societies and are then given identity cards.
Dr. Bhat was requested to elaborate on how he treated his cancer patients. In reply, Dr. Bhat elaborated the methods he used to obtain his extracts and how the curative effect had been evaluated.
Prof. Nkunya was asked to comment on the ultimate goal of his research and what had been the dosage of his extracts and compounds. He replied that the ultimate goal of the research was to obtain chemically pure and potent antimalarial drugs which could then be utilised in malarial chemotherapy. He said that the biological tests are done by parasitologists.
Chairpersons Dr. Dagne
Dr. Gheyouche gave results of studies on three plants in which aspects of microbiology, pharmacology and some phytochemistry were covered. Tests had been done on decoctions prepared as per traditional healer method.
Prof. G.M.P. Mwaluko presented a study on the use of Datura stramonium, which had been prompted by observation that the plant was added to local alcoholic brews. The plant was found to increase the stimulatory effects of alcohol. The study had used the open field test method. He expressed concern since the dosages used are not known.
Prof. W. Boping presented a very detailed paper on the use of medicinal plants in China. He stated that the uses cover many diseases and the plants are well documented in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. He stressed the importance of the use of traditional approach in studying medicinal plants.
Dr. P.C. Rwangabo gave a report of a comprehensive study on Rwandese plants. The paper gave results on three plants where identification of chemicals responsible for the major activities was possible. Antifungal and antiviral activities were also noted.
Dr. Armando wanted to know from Dr. Gheyouche whether her results were not due to a collective effect of different components. He also wanted Prof. Mwaluko to comment on the toxicity of D. stramonium.
Dr. Gheyouche answered that she was only interested in establishing relationship rather than mechanisms. Prof. Mwaluko informed Dr. Annando that chronic toxicity studies have not yet been done.
Dr. M. Cajias wanted to know the type of animal disease treated by plants discussed by Dr. Rwangabo.
Dr Rwangabo replied that the plant sap is used in special quantities to treat calf intestinal parasites. Very effective and popular but scientific analysis is yet to be done. He also explained that all plants are potentially toxic. The three plants studied were not very toxic and are commonly used by traditional healers. In general, all drugs are toxic, it only depends on the dose given.
Dr. Kofi made a general comment to the effect that what cures also ills. In studying traditional medicine, the most important aspect is to utilise well what is active, not necessarily to isolate single entities. However, this can be necessary in establishing dosage.
Dr. Elmi wanted an elaboration of latest information on the drug Artemisinine.
Dr. Boping answered that the latest information is available in literature as studies are now also being done in Japan and USA. Information on the other plants was available in Chinese Traditional Medicine Pharmacopoeia. Participants supported that there is now a lot of literature on Artemisinine.
Dr. Abondo made a comment on the plant in Dr. Rwangabo's paper which he felt, was wrongly named. After a number of contributions from the floor on this possible mistake, it was agreed that all botanical names must be checked by appropriate experts and specimens be sent to herbaria for future reference. This is important because wrong names may be misleading during studies.
Dr. Abondo wanted to know how the traditional healer is protected should his plant prove to be commercially viable. In addition, Prof. Mwaluko wanted to know if traditional medicine needs to go through a research process as it is with the western medicine (Which may take 10 years).
Dr. Duale, the WHO representative, in answer to both questions drew attention to the objective of the conference, and urged participants to think about these issues and come out with recommendations.
Chairman: Dr. W. Kofi-Tsekpo
Rapporteur: Dr. M. Cajias
Prof. Asmoah reported on the toxicity and pharmacology of some selected plants from Ghana. Four plants bad been studied for antimalarial and antimicrobial activity, both in vivo and vitro with promising results similar to tetracycline. A number of alkaloids were isolated and identified, some of them being new compounds. He recommended careful pharmacological studies.
Dr. J.D. Msonthi reported that there is a good co- operation between the traditional healers and modern practitioners and chemists in Malawi. He said the major problem was lack of equipment. He reported also that the traditional medicine is now incorporated into modern medical care. He reported the isolation of compounds with anticancer activity from Hyposis species. The compounds also showed antimalarial activity comparable to quinine.
Dr. S.R. Malele described the biotransformation of hydroxyanthroquinones glycosides from Cassia species. Two biogenetic pathways were given. Tissue cultures method with isotope labelling were described.
Dr. M. Cajias gave a general overview picture of the state of traditional medicine in Bolivia. She strongly recommended the integration and co-operation between traditional and modern medicine.
Prof. Koumare said we are trying to look into traditional medical system from scientific point of view. He generally felt that no solid ideas are precipitating out, and the whole issue is still confused. He said it was necessary for the conference to agree on what we want to do. He suggested that delegates should keep in mind the objectives of the symposium during the discussions.
Dr. P.C. Rwangabo asked Dr. Msonthi to give details of antimalarial, and anticancer activities, and the model used. He also asked Dr. Malele if he did any pharmacological studies. He commented and showed satisfaction of Dr. Cajias presentation.
Dr. Msonthi responded that cancer was a human colon. Dr. Malele said that glycosides and cyanocides release compounds which are active in the intestine.
Dr. Jonathan strongly suggested identification of a centre with facilities to carry out research and exchange information on traditional medicines.
Ms Z. Nuru (Chairperson of the Conference) responded that at the end of the day we shall streamline the strategy of the symposium.
Dr. K. Akhiri commented on Prof. Asmoah's paper that he would not advise patients to take the drug because it has hypoglycaemic activity, and could be dangerous to diabetic patients.
Prof. Asmoah responded by saying that toxicity studies should not be extra plated but they should be used as precautions.
Prof. Dagne told Dr. Malele that he doesn't believe chrysophanol will give emodine as the two will not have the same biogenetics. Dr. Malele replied that probably Dr. Dagne is correct.
Dr. Abondo commented that most of the papers presented did not address to the objectives of the conference. He raised a serious concern on Dr. Msonthi's paper on care of carcinoma without thorough scientific studies.
Dr. Msonthi responded by saying that he is a phytochemist and other relevant institutions with competent experts were used for the testing.
Prof. Mwaluko commented that Msonthi's results were from laboratory work, and were subject to further investigation.
Dr. Fernandez from Angolan stressed the need of mass education on all fronts.
Dr. Bhat commented that the papers presented were of specialised nature and not very relevant to the objectives of the conference. Traditional Medicine should be the interaction of the drugs with the patient. Drug tolerance should be considered.
Prof. Elmi stressed on the need of feedback of information from the scientists to the traditional healers.
Prof. Asmoah): was asked if there was any abuse of the plant described with morphine type of activity? He replied that the government would will take appropriate precaution on the abuse of such plants.
Dr. Mapunda commented on the participants' insistence on the isolation of active ingredients followed by the synthesis, rather than adopting the position of traditional medicine in health care.
Ms. Zahra M. Nuru (Chairperson of the conference) noted that the participation on the first objective of the symposium had been very well covered, while other objectives were much less covered.
Dr. Wakori described biological and phytochemical screening leaflets of cassia didymobotrya.
Dr. D. W. Kioy described in detail the basic schemes of isolation and identification of natural products.
Dr. F. Mirez gave a general lecture which included information on his institute in Peru. He described the general procedure of the treatment, in different stages, of various diseases. The plants used for treating tuberculosis were reported.
Dr. Thiambino gave a general lecture on the geography population, and land statistics of her country, including government policy on traditional medicine. She also reported on the commercial production of some drugs from medicinal plants.
Chairman: Dr. A. Caceres
Rapporteur: Dr. J. D. Msonthi
Mr. Ventura Galegos (Mexico) stated that man is his own victim. He becomes sick because of his own technology. Therapeutic medicine is necessary for good health. Plants are used to prevent illness and keep the body equilibrium stable.
Mr. Wodwell Vongo - (Zambia) gave the definition of traditional medicinal plants and traditional medicine which is holistic, covering such aspects as cultural heritage, beliefs and customs passed from one generation to another. He said he is the Secretary General of an association of traditional practitioners in Zambia, and a member of the International Centre for Traditional Medicine in Central and Southern Africa, whose headquarters are based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He gave a brief history of his training as a traditional healer. He said that traditional medicine is not fully understood by medical doctors who usually condemned and rejected it. It is important that the two disciplines learn from each other. Traditional medicine is a practical science that requires sincerity and commitment. Illnesses include psychosomatic diseases, normally managed by traditional healers, while some organic illnesses are better treated by orthodox doctors. Where there is overlap, there should be proper referral systems between the two disciplines. He stated that traditional medicine, if used conjointly with modern medicine, will effectively bring good health care. Traditional healers should be helped by scientists in such areas as toxicity studies and posology, and governments should offer financial contributions towards training, legislation, and certification of Traditional Medicine, to reduce dependence on foreign exchange and bring about improved health.
Mr. Steven K. Makuu (Tanzania), on behalf of the healers who attended the conference, said that they were appreciative of their being invited. They use plants, seaweeds and other items to treat such illnesses as stroke, hypertension and AIDS. He said there was a need for the formation of an association which will link them with the government. There is need to establish medicinal plant fora, which would help to popularise traditional medicine at national level, to co-operate with pharmaceutical companies, and exchange information/and statistics, through journals and meetings, in the South Commission States.
Mrs. Hawa Nyamwicho (Tanzania) informed the delegates that she had successfully treated AIDS patients. She said all Holy Books state that all kinds of diseases can be treated, e.g. in the Koran, honey from the bee is used to prevent illness. She gave examples of cases which were treated for cancer, oedema, hydrocephaly, sterility and AIDS. In traditional medicine, the patient is harmonised with nature. She stated that stress and worries cause body unbalance and diseases, and these can be treated.
A request was made for scientific contribution to enhance the knowledge on medicinal plants and the introduction of large scale production of drugs from plants. The traditional healers are not all quack: they have a duty before God to help patients.
Dr. Antonio (Angola) and George Washington (Brazil) wanted to know the names of the plants in the formulation given to AIDS patients. The response given was that the concoction was made from several plants, and that a special diet which boosted the patient's immune system is also required.
Honorable Minister of Health of Sierra Leone, Dr., Johnson. The Minister reminded the scientists to uphold mutual respect of the two disciplines. Thus traditional healers should be treated with due respect, and it was therefore uncalled for that the Lady Traditional healer be asked to reveal the contents of her formulation.
Dr. Kofi (Kenya) confirmed the use of animal and plant material by a herbalist in Kenya on a patient who suffered from same ailments.
Dr. Bacon (Botswana) gave details of the export of root tubers of the grapple plant at a very low price and import of the same product in tablet forms at a very high price. This was in connection with Dr. Vongo's sample which was circulated.
Dr. E. Estrella (Ecuador) observed the fact that traditional medicine in Latin America is similar to that in Africa and is divided into two categories, country diseases which are psychosomatic and better handled by traditional healers using symptomatic diagnosis, and urban diseases, which are treated by modern doctors and traditional healers.
Dr. P.C. Rwangabo (Rwanda) wished the Tanzanian lady herbalist good luck in her endeavour to treat AIDS patients, and hoped she would get every help from scientific community to develop her drug.
Dr. Jonathan (Lesotho) suggested that traditional medicine be incorporated in medical school curricula if the gap between the two disciplines, is to be bridged.
Mr. Vongo (Zambia) urged that scientists should look at traditional medicine with a critical but open mind. He also stated that discipline has limited skills, and can play a role towards health care through a referral system. He emphasized that common language is necessary for the two disciplines to understand one another.
The Hon. Minister of Sierra Leone Dr. W. Johnson urged that we should try to process our medicinal plant formulations first for home consumption before we think of exports. We should promote co- operation through mutual respect, since traditional medicine is also a science. There is a need to respect the Lady traditional healer (Mrs. Nyamwicho), to protect integrity, and discoveries.
Dr. F. Mirez (Peru) reported that there were about 16 HIV positive cases treated for AIDS in Brazil using the following herbs: Ambrosia, Eseteria, Mentha periralis, Mintostachy, Peragonia Perezia and Uncaria tomentosa He stated that the people of Peru believe disease to be caused by lack of body balance and change of life energy, and that some spiritual diseases are treated in a ritual called "passing the egg".
Professor Koumare (Mali) suggested that traditional healers should be encouraged to use local terms and avoid the use of medical terms when discussing their work. He emphasized that there is need a for a true exchange of understanding through respect between the two systems.
Ms. Zahra Nuru (Chairperson of the Conference, Tanzania), requested the delegates to digest the message from the Chairman of the South-South Commission, and bring up comments for a discussion on the final date of the conference.
Chairman: Prof. Koumare
Rapporteur: Prof. A. S. Elmi
Dr. Waane's paper was on the cultural context of using traditional medicine. It covered such aspects as life on the planet, attitude when in trouble (turning to nature for help), and the three operational spheres of household: home, region, and wilderness. The traditional medicinal plants and other medical practices are but natural associations of the human race. He stressed on the need for total cooperation and collaboration between the two medical systems.
Dr. E. Njau gave the history of the development and commercialization of drugs from natural sources, e.g., morphine in the 18th century. He pointed out that the development of a modern drug, which is patented, is exceedingly costly, while, on the other hand, traditional drugs cannot be easily patented, and are less expensive in general. He stressed that our chances of protecting our traditional medicinal products with the existing legislation, are rather remote.
Dr. E. Dagne gave a brief account of the medicinal plant sale in the local market in Ethiopia. He argued that identification of the samples is difficult in such cases. Nevertheless pharmacological studies showed their medicinal values. For example, Taverniera abyssinica, was shown to be biologically active. In another study some anthraquinones were separated from Aloes.
Prof. A. S. Elmi expressed that the use and acceptance of medicinal plants in Somalia is wide but varied. In 1977 Somalia started the systematic evaluation of the medicinal plants, but experience showed that it was not a very satisfactory way of carrying out the studies; so a more direct approach was applied, which was the application and use as per traditional healer methods, after the toxicity studies had been carried out. There is also a mechanism of passing on information to the healers.
Dr. F. Mbenkum et al., elaborated on the situation in Cameroon. He gave a detailed description of the study of traditional medicinal plants grown in Korup area, Cameroon, and described the inventory of the medicinal plants of the area. There is a Herbarium based on the medicinal plants of the Korup area and the traditional medicines of the area are equivalent to the common drugs.
Mr. R.L.A. Mahunnah expressed the importance of ethnobotany and conservation of medicinal plants. Ethnobotany is much more than names of the plants for it gives information about all the characteristics of the plants as far as possible.
Prof. Kofi-Tsepo presented Prof. Akerele's paper which stressed the importance of the following:
(a) the need for registration and the establishment of associations;
(b) listing of the herbal remedies used in each country, and
(c) establishment of safety laws.
Prof. K. E. Mshigeni gave a detailed account of the use of seaweeds in medicine and pharmacy. He elaborated on the potential of seaweeds, including the possibility of enhancing seaweed biomass production through farming. He also reported that is extensive research going on to screen seaweeds for new drugs. The Third World as a whole should look into the neglected seaweed resources.
Dr. J. Bacon gave an account on studies of the Lippia javanica and Harpogophtum procumbens, medicinal plants of Botswana, from which a number of compounds were reported. The grapple plant is marketed in the area. He stressed on the need to produce such drugs locally, rather than to re-import the material at very high cost.
Mr. C.K. Mutayabarwa reported on the anti-epileptic properties of the essential oil of Hyptis suaveolens, which consisted of 60 components. The activity is due to the collective action of the oil.
Dr. R. Tokarski gave an elaborate video programme of the cultivation, production and final processing of medicinal plants on industrial scale in Brazil.
Prof. M.R. Khan reported on the testing of medicinal plants for their antibacterial properties, and also on the phytochemistry of over 200 plants used in Tanzania.
Mrs. J.A. Aluoch reported on the use of medicinal plants in the treatment of bronchial asthma. The work had been done by a traditional healer, and was confirmed by a modern clinician.
Dr. N. Koita reported on his comparative study of the medicinal plant Cassia occidentalis and chloroquine, on two groups of patients suffering from malaria.
Dr. K. Ikhiri gave a report on his country's activities in the field of traditional medicine. There were 400 medicinal plants, out of which 200 were studied. Some of the plants were used against dysentery and diabetes in Niger.
Dr. Rwangabo (Rwanda) wanted to know from Dr. Koita if any other studies had been done before the clinical trials, and how ethical problems had been dealt with. He responded that no laboratory studies had been conducted. They were dependent on the traditional use. Patients had been consulted before the treatment. No placebo was used.
Dr. Kofi said he appreciated the work by Mr. Mutayabarwa for his antiepileptic study. He also made a general comment to the traditional healers, requesting them to inform the other participants on how they control their dosages.
Prof. Mwaluko directed a question to Mrs. Aluoch, asking her to elaborate on the mode of administration and efficacy of the reported remedy. This was particularly important since the disease is chronic. He also asked for an elaboration on the duration of the follow up.
Mrs Aluoch responded that the route of administration was through intranasal for one of the drugs, and oral for the other two. The attack on a sixteen year old patient has not recurred since 1987.
Prof. Abondo asked Prof. Akerele to comment why the list of countries in his paper embraced only the English speaking states. The response was that the information collected had emanated from an English speaking workshop. For the Francophone a similar workshop will be held in 1990.
Dr. Vongo pointed out that scientists should exchange information with the healers on collecting the plants, and on the results of their research, e.g. toxicity.
Mr. Twalib asked Mr. Mutayabarwa whether any cost elements had been studied with regards to his plant. Mr. Mutayabarwa responed that the study was still continuing and that the costs would be looked into.
Dr. Upunda re-stressed the need for using appropriate terminology.
Dr. Estrella commended Dr. Koita for their paper on the treatment of malaria. He was happy that he now knew two new plants for treating malaria.
Dr. Tokarski stressed the importance of proper eating habits for good health, especially where traditional medicinal plants play a part. The comment was also supported by Dr. Bracho. Dr. Tokarski further explained the pricing system in Brazil and what they had done to help the local people use the home remedies.
Dr. Caceres made a general comment on his visit. He had no intention of insulting anyone, but his aim was to come and try to bring cultures together, share experiences, find means of joining people to have a common front, so that we have our plant resources available for everyone.
Ms. Zahra M. Nuru (Chairperson of the Conference) said Dr. Cacere's paper would be included in the proceedings. The Conference was designed to cover scientists, traditional healers, policy makers, and enterpreneurs, so that the gap existing between modern and traditional medicinemen could be bridged, and appropriate recommendations and resolutions could be made by all the participants, collectively.
Traditional Healers from Tanzania held a special session, discussed issues of mutual interests, and made resolutions as follows:
1. We, Tanzanian traditional healers, attending ICMP meeting, have the following views and resolutions:
(a) We, the traditional healers in Tanzania, have used plants from land and from the sea, to cure the following diseases:
· Mental disorders
· Stomach disorders
· Blood pressure
· Aids (HIV)
(b) Traditional healers should have an organization to coordinate their activities, and the same organization should serve as a link between the Government and the traditional healers.
2. With regard to the production of medicinal plants, we recommend that:
(a) Whenever possible, special gardens should be established for the cultivation of medicinal plants.
(b) Whenever possible, special reserves (National Medicinal Reserves) should be set aside for the conservation of medicinal plants. Such reserves should be established by the healers, in collaboration with the relevant state organs (e.g. Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Agriculture, etc.).
(c) The traditional healers organization should liaise with pharmaceutical industries, which need raw materials for traditional medicine. The organization should have legal status like a cooperative union.
(d) Developing countries should form similar organizations to facilitate collection of data, and the establishment of inventories of medicines and diseases, and the sale of medicines.
(e) There should be a forum for the exchange of information, journals, research findings, and other developments in developing countries.
(f) Whenever possible, regional centres should be established to strengthen cooperation and data collection from different countries.
N. E. N. Shauri - Chairman
S. Makuu - Secretary
M. S. Msemo
T. A. Dyakaya
A. M. Mapembe
H. I. Messo
O. B. M. Shajari
J. K. Lyamba
L. G. Ngalianguo
Dr. S. Mnaliwa - Advisor, ICMP Secretary
CLOSING SPEECH BY MS. ZAHRA. M.
PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF HEALTH
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have a Kiswahili adage which says, "hakuna mwanzo usiokuwa na mwisho;" which means, "there is no beginning without an end." Nevertheless, today is our last day of this busy week in our beautiful town of Arusha. It is with great pleasure then that I take this opportunity to invite those of you who attended this educational and unique conference on medicinal plants.
Distinguished participants, during the last six days we have had a rare occasion to deliberate on various issues about this virgin subject area. You have proved that research work on medicinal plants has reached an advanced stage. You have also proved beyond doubt that the research on traditional medicine has been conducted jointly and cooperatively and tests have been made on various patients.
I hope that the knowledge gained in this conference will be of greatest assistance in your future endeavours towards strengthened cooperation among countries of the South in the areas of exploration, exploitation and application of research results in the field of medicinal plants.
Let me take this opportunity to re-emphasize three points. Firstly, in the original plan you bad listed five objectives of the conference. From what I have been able to gather informally, there are clear indications that you have covered them all. Understandably, given your own training and career orientation you may have, at some point, been carried away by professional exchanges of the differing experiences in your respective regions. But that should not rule out the facts that once issues of application and acceptability emerge, your field becomes more to other dimensions and require the input of other professions. At that point, the need for helping bands from other disciplines is inevitable; hence the need to adopt a much more multidisciplinary approach. It is my sincere hope that the type of exchanges witnessed at this conference will subsequently enrich your perspectives on research on medicinal plants and in the popularization of your respective results.
Secondly, it has always been a dream of the Chairman of the South Commission, Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, to find an opportune time to bring together people of your calibre and integrity to deliberate on the subject matter of this conference. Today, the dream has finally come true. If self-reliance means using our own resources to the maximum and for the benefit of our people, this conference proves quite vividly the existence of enormous resources in the form of real potential of the traditional medicine in the South.
As a means of strengthening our moves towards self-reliance in the medical field, the challenge ahead of us is to disseminate, as aggressively as possible, all that we feel is fully researched on. Therefore, closing the knowledge gap in this area represents one of the pressing challenges. The pivotal role of our traditional healers deserves closest inspection and attention.
Thirdly, I have been impressed by the contributions of Tanzanian participants. I believe that the experiences of other participants will greatly strengthen the ability of our local experts so that they could fully utilize the existing potential of medicinal plants in Tanzania. The Government of Tanzania looks forward to your recommendations which will be digested carefully to facilitate assistance to those of you who are directly involved in the country's traditional medicine scene.
Distinguished participants, let me end by thanking all those who have contributed to the success of this conference by organising and sponsoring delegates. I would tike to single out WHOs further support, to Africa through Dr. Monekosso and Dr. Bracho who assisted in coordinating the Latin American participants with UNDP and UNEP. Allow me to express our heartfelt thanks to a unique group of people without whose commitment and dedication, this conference would have foundered. I am also extending my sincere commendations to our interpreters, translators, secretaries and typists for their excellent work. I will not forget our hosts, the AICC for their hospitality. To all, let me take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation. My appreciation should also go to the traditional healers who participated in this conference. I request them, to pass on to their colleagues our sincerest appreciation of their useful role in our societies. I propose that consideration should be made to invite a good number of them in subsequent meetings.
Once again, I take this opportunity to propose that the knowledge gained from this conference should also guide our plans for the future. Such meetings should be set as our unity plans for the future and should act as unifying forces to try and examine all that we have discussed here. In future, the meetings could consider exchanges with a view to finding out if the objectives and recommendations reached at this conference have been met.
Let me conclude by wishing you the best in all your future endeavours. For those of you who will be leaving soon, I say ton voyage, Buen Viaje Felicidades. And for those who may have to extend their stay for various reasons, I can only say, KARIBU SANA Tanzania.
I now have the honour and privilege to close this conference.