By Olimatou Coker
The 13th scientific congress of traditional and conventional medicine practitioners was held in Lome in mid-December. The Gambia was represented by a delegation comprising Salifu Puye president of the Traditional Healers Association (TRAHASS) and official from the Ministry of Health. The congress provided an opportunity for participants to review the scientific and technical expertise available in the ECOWAS region, to enable them to capitalise on all the human resources likely to guarantee the efficient contribution of traditional medicine to the Covid-19 response effort.
The Lome meeting also served as a platform for sharing country experiences in scientific collaboration in the research and development of herbal medicine.
“The general objectives of this forum is to make a critical evaluation of the contribution of traditional medicine to the covid-19 response effort in the ECOWAS region,” Mr Puye told The Standard.
The organisers said in Africa, the outbreak of Covid-19 disease has given rise to emergency health measures that have significantly mitigated its damaging consequences. At the regional level, ECOWAS and its health institution, WHO, procured and distributed to members states critical medical supplies, and also built the requisite testing capacity of reference laboratories to perform their roles.
“But to ensure the success of this initiative, special attention must be paid to collaboration between practitioners of traditional medicine and conventional medicine. It is for this reason that the theme for this 13th scientific congress is in line with that for celebration of the 2021 African traditional medicine day,” they said.
The organizers said at the regional level, research activities must aim at promoting the spirit of scientific complementarity based on the capacities and field of intervention of the research institutions, which have been identified in the different countries.