By Joyce Ojanji

The world health organization (WHO) is currently working with eight African countries to monitor clinical trials of traditional medicine –based therapeutics proposed for COVID-19.

The countries include Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Madagascar, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC).

It stated that as part of efforts to advance continental efforts towards equitable access to medical products and technologies, all but eight African member states are now engaged in large scale cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants.

In a message to mark the African Traditional Medicine Day 2022, WHO regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said 19 countries have established facilities for local manufacturing of herbal medicines, with the number of herbal medicines registered by national regulatory authorities in 14 countries increasing from just 20 in 2000, to more than 100 this year.

‘’Thirty countries have also integrated traditional medicine into their national policies, a 100 per cent improvement on the situation in 2000. Additionally, 39 countries have established regulatory frameworks for traditional medicine practitioners, compared to only one in 2000, demonstrating good governance and leadership,” she said.

Dr.Moeti called upon governments to strengthen collaboration between science, technology and innovation institutions, traditional health practitioners and the private sector, to fast track research and development and local manufacturing of traditional medicine based therapeutics for the health and well-being of Africa.