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Prospects and Challenges of Medicinal Plants Conservation and Traditional Medicine in Tanzania

Kayombo, E. J. , Mahunnah, R. L. A. and Uiso, F. C. (2013) Prospects and Challenges of Medicinal Plants Conservation and Traditional Medicine in Tanzania. Anthropology, 1 (3).

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A qualitative study was carried to assess prospects and challenges of medicinal plants conservation and
traditional medicine in Tanzania. The study shows that TRM and medicinal have great prospects in healthcare
delivery worldwide. These prospects have more impact in developing countries where 70%-80% of population used
TRM for Primary Healthcare (PHC). It is reported that 25% of prescribed drugs in conventional healthcare were
derived from their ethnomedicinal use in TRM. Medicinal plants still provided hope for discovery of new drugs for
the resistant diseases and those that were not treated by conventional prescribed drugs. Traditional medicine and
medicinal plants were faced with challenges notably; threats due to increasing depletion of the natural resource
as an impact of population increase, urbanization, modernization of agriculture and climatic change. There was
erosion of indigenous medical knowledge as most of the traditional health practitioners were aging and dying, while
the expected youths to inherit the practice shy away from practice. The youths in rural settings who were willing
to practice some of them die because of AIDS. The other major challenges on traditional medicine and MPs were
constraints and include lack of data on seriously threatened and endangered medicinal plant species. Others include
inadequate and conflicting guidelines on management and utilization of natural resources, especially medicinal
plants. Efforts for scaling up the practice of TRM and medicinal plant conservation have been suggested. These
were creating awareness of the importance traditional medicine and medicinal plants in healthcare; training THPs
on good practices for provision of healthcare; conserving medicinal plants through in-situ and ex-situ programs and
sustainable harvesting of medicinal plants resources and training conventional health workers on the contribution
of TRM and medicinal plants in PHC. Traditional health practitioners, TRM and medicinal plants should be essential
components in PHC in order to meet the health millennium goals by 2025.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Traditional Medicine, Medicinal Plants, Indigenous knowledge, drugs, health care, nature conservation, deforestation, ethnomedical, conventional drugs,Tanzania
Subjects: Health Systems > Surveillance, monitoring & evaluation
Divisions: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS)
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2013 13:34
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2013 13:34

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