The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is stepping up parliamentary campaigns on traditional medicine to facilitate its integration into health systems in Africa.
This came out during the PAP Committees’ Joint Workshop on the Place of Traditional Medicine in Africa’s Health Systems, held during the sitting of the Permanent Committees of the sixth Parliament of PAP currently happening in Midrand, South Africa under the AU theme for 2023, “Accelerating the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”
In attendance were Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs, Committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disabilities, Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, and Committee on Education, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources.
The main objective of the workshop was to sensitise participants on the need to develop traditional medicine to facilitate its integration into health systems in Africa.
“We need to intensify parliamentary advocacy on traditional medicine to establish a comprehensive legal framework for continental herbal trade, and to promote the establishment or strengthening of national and regional research centres to support the development of traditional medicine towards its integration in African Health Systems,” said the 2nd Vice President Hon. Dr Ashebiri Gayo while giving an opening speech of the workshop.
He also acknowledged the importance of traditional medicine and believes that its high time it is accorded its rightful status in the world.
“Traditional medicine, according to academics, is the primary source of healthcare for almost 80% of the population in poor countries. However, unlike Chinese medicine, African Traditional Medicine does not have the same status of being allowed and accepted in the world, which is the challenge we face. Nevertheless, this should be a thing of the past, as it is time for traditional medicine to reclaim its rightful place in the medical fraternity,” said Hon. Dr Gayo.
Hon Jean Patrice France Quirin, Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Labour, and Social Affairs, feels that developing Model Law surrounding traditional medicine will go a long way toward supporting the integration of traditional medicine into Health Systems.
“We need to initiate the development of a Model Law on the integration of Traditional Medicine into Health Systems that will harmonize the strategies of AU Member States through the PAP Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs,” he said.
He also discussed how Climate Change is threatening the development of traditional medicine by threatening biodiversity.
“We need to support the development of a Model Law on Climate Change by the PAP Committee on Rural Economy to guide AU Member States to build a collective climate resilience to ensure climate change mitigation and adaptation, and to deliver on Nationally Determined Contributions to achieve greater greenhouse gas emission reductions and ensure an effective planning, implementation, and financing of climate change efforts both at the national and regional levels,” said Hon. Quirin.