Traditional health practitioners appeal for recognition

Herbalist, Andrian Muriungi Kamundi, addressing journalists in Isiolo town.

The National Traditional Health Practitioners’ Association (NATHEPA) officials want the Ministry of Health to recognize their work, just like it has been done in other countries.

NATHEPA National Inspector and Public Relations Officer, Andrian Kamundi, said that Ministry of Health should hurry up and present their Bill to parliament so that they get recognition as Kenyan Traditional Medical Practitioners.

 Kamundi said that the Herbal Bill is currently at Ministry of Health and ought to have been presented to parliament.

He pleaded with the legislators to pass the Bill, when brought on the floor of the House so that they could benefit and the Kenyans get cheap medicines that are free of side effects.

NATHEPA official said that traditional medics have been of great help to the citizens since they offer cheap and available medication at village levels.

The traditional doctor said that local herbs have no side effects like conventional medicines and urged the government to make use of the alternative medicine in the country instead of sidelining them as unqualified professionals.

He challenged the government to borrow a leaf from neighbouring Ethiopia and Madagascar where they have, since the advent of Covid-19 pandemic, enlisted the input of their herbalists in the search for treatment for the deadly virus.

Kamunde added that Kenyan traditional herbalists have good brains and a lot of experience and if properly used they could assist a great deal in treatment of the pandemic.

“The Kenyan government had been spending a lot of funds to buy conventional drugs and still the local people go looking for treatment in foreign countries while alternative remedies are locally available,” said Kamundi.

The NATHEPA boss said that a country like India used both modern and traditional treatments since locals have knowledge of herbs used.

He further appealed to traditional birth attendants, traditional surgeons and circumcisers to domesticate traditional medicinal plants and ensure they registered with NATHEPA for them to push for their case.

Kamunde urged the government through Ministry of Health to partner with herbalists and Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in order to develop home grown solutions to current health crisis.