An information sharing forum took place at the National Assembly on June 25, 2020 on traditional medicine during a special plenary sitting of the House.
Members of the National Assembly, government officials, researchers and traditional healers have made proposals to modernise, codify, improve and develop traditional medicine in Cameroon. This was during an information sharing forum organised by the National Assembly with the objective to make traditional medicine an effective complement in the health system in the country.
Speaking while opening the plenary sitting, House Speaker, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril said, "the ultimate objective of this special plenary sitting on traditional is to modernise, codify, improve and develop traditional medicine." As for the role of Members of the National Assembly, he said, "It, therefore, behoves on the National Assembly as the People's representatives to give impetus and support to the development of traditional medicine. » Drawing from the current context of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the House Speaker said, "The COVID-19 pandemic and its multiferous and devastating health effects has really shown the limitations of modern medicine and thus made it necessary to complement modern medicine with 'endogenous medicines' as the President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul Biya opined in his address to the nation on 19 May 2020." The COVID-19 pandemic context, according to Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, points to the need to recognise the importance of traditional medicine.
For traditional medicine to occupy its rightful place in Cameroon's health system, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril advised, "We should therefore desist from stigmatising and marginalising traditional medicine as a mere complement to modern conventional medicine. We have to develop a complementary synergy between modern and traditional medicine to increase the medical wellbeing of our population." He also advised that confrontation should be shunned in favour of collaboration and rivalry shunned in favour of complementarity.
Other speakers during the forum all pointed to the importance of traditional medicine whose development and valorisation would not only contribute to greater healthcare but also to the positive impact in the economic and social domains. One of the speakers, Archbishop Samuel Kleda who has produced medicine for the treatment of COVID- 19 based on plants proposed that a law be voted to recognise traditional medicine , introduction of studies on medicinal plants in universities, teaching of medicinal plants in medical schools , training on sustainable management of natural resources and reafforestation to stop the spread of the desert. Stating that phytotherapy was an answer to COVID-19, he said , "We must go back to plants. It is time to act now."
Over 20 researchers and traditional healers exhibited their products during the forum.