HON. PETER. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to start by thanking the Hon. Members who brought this motion, which is a crucial motion. This issue concerning traditional medicines is a very important issue. When we look at the past, you will discover that hospitals did not appreciate the use of traditional medicines. At times, you would find people with different ailments in Mberengwa where I come from being treated using allopathic or traditional medicines. At times we might not have a solution for some ailments, but I believe that the suggestion that traditional medicines should be appreciated and put to use is a good suggestion.
There are some people who sometimes go to radio stations to advertise that they have herbs which can treat different ailments. There should be a law which prohibits those people. If a herb is found in traditional pharmacies, it means that it would have gone through a thorough research, investigation and scrutiny by professional scientists to determine its efficacy. It is then that one should go on air and advertise their herbs. We do not want misleading advertisements on national broadcasts. Sometimes we need to put in place laws that protect our traditional and indigenous knowledge systems. In countries like Uganda and other African countries which have such laws which appreciate and protect indigenous knowledge systems, sometimes you discover that we find people getting sick because we are shunning our traditions and our medicines. This can be explained that in the past, such diseases were being treated using traditional medicines. So it is important that we do that as a nation because there are some medicines which are found in our forests or bushes. Such medicines need to be protected. Some might not need to be planted but they need to be protected. So let us protect our forests. Let us make sure that our traditional medicines are protected and conserved for posterity, especially in the rural areas where we find vast tracts of land with such traditional medicines.
You will discover that in other areas, some people are using modern technology to treat foot and mouth in cattle but in the past, we used to use our traditional medicines to treat foot and mouth disease. So it is important that even our traditional medicines be medicines that are applied. During my childhood, I did not go to hospital but I grew up being treated by my parents who were using the indigenous knowledge system. Hospitals were not there when we were growing up but still we received treatment. However, nowadays this is not happening.
So what Hon. Moyo said is very correct. We have the right to talk confidently about allopathic medicines. As Hon. Members of Parliament, it is also important to articulate such issues at such a forum. My plea, Madam Speaker, is that traditional medicines should be considered. So I would add my voice to support the report. I thank you.