What can Herbal or Traditional medicine treat? (5)

8 July, 2019

Dear Hifa members,

The discussion which was started by Owalabi Sunday Adebayo on 5th July 2019 (130) CHW has attracted a lot of debate among some hifa contributors. Notable ones are Dr. Joseph Ana (2) 6th July, Shabina Hussan(3) 6th July and Charles Dhewa(4) 7th July so far. Their comments are for or against using herbal medicine holisticaly to treat any condition or using modern medicine for the same purpose.

I wish to comment on both sides of the same coin. When someone gets sick, they desire to get well. According WHO recommendation is that the wellbeing of person to be considered healthy, he or she should be: physically fit, mentally fit and emotionaly fit. If this is the case, where do people turn to to receive healing? It depends on a choice and what is available. It could be spiritual, herbal or orthodox medicine at a health facility.

For instance in time immemorial people in the bible consulted God kings, phrophets and high priests. Before orthodox medicine was introduced in Africa, herbal mediclne was used to treat and prevent a number of diseases including birth controls etc. With the advent of churches, some go for spiritual healings through men and women of God. All these strategies are based on the traditions, beliefs, pratices etc.

Now there questions which beg for answers, Adebayo and Dhewa have made a serious claim that Herbal medicines can treat almost any condition holisticaly. I find this statement too strong to be true on the other hand Dr. J. Ana has vigorously contested this claim but in the same vein he has equally made a sweeping by asserting that modern medicine is "pure" this sounds too good a statement to be religiously accepted because it takes a lot of processes to be made and later on to be taken by a patient because contamination could occur at any stage and place.

Another question for Dr. Ana is what were people in Africa were using before modern medicines? Dr. Ana also ibdicates that Hifa disseminates evidence based information, this statement sounds exclusive I thought it also says building a future are no longer dying for lack of information. Dhewa also claims AFRICAN Herbalists have succeeded in treating mental health than modern medicine, this does not sound authentic we need him to show studies or imperical evidence to support this claim. Otherwise both views should scrutinized.

HIFA profile: Kenneth L Chanda is Associate Consultant and Lecturer at National Institute of Public Administration where he is lecturing in Records Management. He is co-author of The development of telehealth as a strategy to improve health care services in Zambia. Kenneth L. Chanda & Jean G. Shaw. Health Information & Libraries Journal. Volume 27, Issue 2, pages 133139, June 2010. He recently retired as Assistant Medical Librarian at the University of Zambia. klchanda AT gmail.com