The current harsh economic situation has forced many people to seek medical care from traditional healers and herbalists. Some pharmacies in the country are now demanding foreign currency from customers, a situation that has forced some patients with chronic illnesses to forego medication.
The rise in the cost of drugs has forced people to seek alternative remedies. An alternative medicines practitioner Godfrey Mwerenga, who runs the Modern Drugs and Cosmetics Clinic, had this to say
… we are … saying let us package our traditional medicine so that they can easily be accessed on the counter just like modern medicine so that we remove the stigma associated with our own medicine.
Now doctors admit that alternative medicine often seems to do a better job of making patients and at a much lower cost than mainstream care and they are learning from it. The main reason why we have so much confidence in herbal treatment is that Africa is the cradle of mankind with rich biological diversity in healing powers.
Africa is located within the tropical and subtropical climate and it is a known fact that plants accumulate important secondary metabolites through evolution as a
means of surviving in a hostile environment. Because of this, African plants accumulate chemo-preventive substances more than plants from the northern hemisphere.
There is also a need to make sure that the traditional knowledge systems are not eradicated because, with each passing generation, valuable knowledge is lost. So there is a need for documentation of these knowledge systems so that they are preserved for future use.