A Buea-based tradi-medlcal practitioner and founder of the Garden of Eden International Healmg and research Foundation located in Wonya-Mavio Mlle 18 Buea, Dr. Richard Flu, has said the institutionalisation of traditional medicine by the government of Cameroon is the only way forward to the development of the sector as a prime goal of the World Health Qrgansatlon, WHO.
Dr. Richard Fru made the comment recently at the conference hall of the Garden of Eden Foundation during a press conference organized as part of activities to mark the 8th edition of the African Traditional Medicine Day.
Traditional Medicine according to Fru, is holistic and the bedrock of all medicines on earth and so there is every reason to have confidence in it.
He revealed that a WHO study indicated that more than 80 percent of Africans rely on traditional medicine because it is not only affordable but also part of their culture. This, he went on, explains why WHO, Instituted the African Traditional Medicine Day which started effectively in 2003 to create awareness on the importance of traditional medicine in Africa with the objective of having many people going in for traditional medicine. These not withstanding, some African countries like Cameroon are yet to institutionalise traditional medicine. Cameroon according to Dr Fru is the only country that is still dragging its feet to institutionalise traditional medicine. The tradi-medical practitioner attributed government’s lukewarm attitude to what he described as the highly politicised health sector. To him, conventional doctors who happen to be part of the government are a stumbling block to traditional medicine because as he puts it, they are afraid of competition.
“Laws drafted by conventional doctors are largely disfavouring traditional medicine”, he lamented. Dr Fru cited, the law on advertising for instance, which, he said, disfavours traditional doctors who are producers of products and by dint of producers are supposed to advertise what they produce whereas conventional doctors are only prescribers and not producers.
However, the founder of the Garden of Eden Institute for Natural Medicine now known as an International Healing and Research Foundation underlined the need for collaboration among tradi-practltloners and between tradi-practitioners and conventional medical practitioners “Conventional medicine has its place. What we are warned is that they have a small role to play like in cases of accidents but they claim to be omnipotent, omnipresent. What we have to do is to compliment each other”, Dr Fru told the press conference that brought together over thirty Journalists from both the public and the private media organs all over the country. While stressing the fact that traditional doctors believe in healing, the Garden of Eden boss situated traditional medicine and religion, arguing that the two are inseparable “Only traditional medicine and religion can clean the mess conventional medicine has plunged the world into”, he posited.
On why some traditional doctors claim to treat so may diseases with just one product, the tradi-medical practitioner explained that some medicinal plants have several functions and a combination of many of such plants can heal so many diseases On this score, he revealed that the Garden of Eden has produced more than 200 medicinal products from more than one medicinal plants while others are still undergoing the transformation process.
One of-such products, It should be noted, is the famous “Try Me” which he said already has a trademark in Nigeria and widely recognized in countries like Ghana and South Africa while the government of Cameroon has shown no attention. He also testified having treated several patients of HIV/AIDS which he was reluctant to comment on, saying that it is a very sensitive issue.
The 8th edition of the African Traditional Medicine Day celebrated under the theme “A decade of African traditional medicine How Far?, was also marked by a health talk, free consultations at the Garden of Eden as well as exhibitions of some of the products of the Garden of Eden International Healing and Research Foundation, which, according to the CEO, has also gone into philanthropic activities.