HON. S. ZHOU: Allow me to thank my colleague Hon. Masango for this motion. We have learnt a lot on these issues. When it comes to traditional medicines, it is very painful for us to hear. The only problem that we have is us the people, we are looking down upon traditional medicines. It will seem as if someone is doing something which is evil or bad when they are treating people using traditional medicines. It is as if the modern medicines are the only ones that are acceptable.
Most women who are pregnant know the traditional medicines that they are supposed to use. For them to deliver nicely without complications, they know they resort to traditional medicines. Even young children have traditional medicines administered on them because they work. Young and old we use traditional medicines and they work for us, even most men use traditional medicine.
When we look at these traditional medicines and their use, we are proud of them, but they are not given the deserving honour they should get. People do not embrace traditional medicines. A good example for reference is the Garden of Eden. It had all the types of trees. Even to this day if you look at it the traditional medicinal plants that we are seeing today, we are getting them from our forests.
The other issue is that of people who actually embrace traditional medicines from other countries. These things that people are admiring from other countries, we have them in this country. South African went a step further and became so much persuasive on their product which is Rooibos. We could have done the same as a country.
Our scientists should dig deeper and make research on these medicinal plants. Correct information must be relayed to individuals who consume these traditional medicines so that they do not overdose and do not consume poisonous plants. Most of the people because of this pandemic which has ravaged the whole country have consumed zumbani, they have consumed medicinal plants. COVID-19 has acted as a reminder of our past, our historical background of medicinal plants that we used as people, as Africans. I am very thankful to all those who came through who taught us, informed and enlightened us with regard to the use of medicinal plants. We should be a people who are proud of their historical and cultural background with our traditional medicine. If you are not well, a doctor will just say take aspirin and everyone knows about aspirin. Education information should be passed from generation to generation. If traditional healers passed on and people do not know that vital information, what will happen and how will we know? Province by province, it should be established the use of medicinal plants that we have, their use and how we can make use of them and how it will help us as a nation.
The Ministry of Lands should engage universities especially institutions and start on the plantation of medicinal plants. People should be taught and knowledge given to them on the benefits that come with these plants. If someone is being treated at Parirenyatwa Hospital and given a list of medicine to take, it is possible that we add traditional medicine to them as they consume. Even someone who is bitten by a snake or someone who is critically ill or someone who has cancer, he/she may get assistance from these traditional medicines. With these few words, it is my anticipation to see Zimbabwe advancing and developing traditional medicines that they become something of great benefit to this nation. Thank you Madam Speaker.
Editor: I could not establish who this legislator is as records show there is Tafanana Zhou and Perseviarance Zhou