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African Tradition Day: A Focus on Planting Iboga

AFRICAN TRADITIONAL DAY focus on the plant Iboga

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Hello there, my name is Paul and we shall be talking about the African traditional medicine day celebrated across the African continent

and looking at how we can ensure the sustainability of the plant iboga which happens to be one of the medicinal plants from Africa.

Never heard of the African Traditional Day before?

Going through research, Andreas S.J. van Proosdij estimates that there are about 400,000-450,000 different species of plants that exist in Africa,

while the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 80% of the population on the African continent relies on traditional medicine for their basic health needs.

The significant contribution of traditional medicine as a major provider of healthcare services in Africa cannot be underestimated.

Here is what you should know

This is mostly due to the fact that these herbal remedies have gained ground around the world with their exploitation,

a livelihood for many given the fact that it’s becoming a million-dollar industry.

Traditional medicine has been used for centuries to improve well-being, and it continues to play a central role in health care.

It draws on the continent’s rich and unique biodiversity of aromatic and medicinal plants.

It is also a promising industry that African countries can do more to export internationally.

Every year around the African continent, August 31st is commemorated as African traditional medicine day

and we will be focusing on one of the most important plant medicines coming out of the African continent which is iboga.

The focus on traditional medicine

But first, let’s look at why this day is essential. According to Professor Nceba Gqaleni of the African Health Research Institute (AHRI) Faculty Member,

an expert in traditional medicine is currently developing a conventional/natural medicine program at AHRI.

This day is important because it is an acknowledgment of the contribution traditional medicine has made to the health of the people of Africa for centuries.

Furthermore, the African Union and the WHO Regional Office for Africa have declared the decades 2001-2010 and 2011-2020

the Decades of African Traditional Medicine and called for member countries to celebrate traditional medicine on 31 August.

Traditional health practitioners and traditional medicine are critical components of the healthcare discipline for millions of Africans, especially in rural areas.

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Traditional Medicine in the African Health System

It is through regulated practice that a meaningful contribution of Traditional health practitioners in Primary Healthcare activities would be enhanced and facilitated. 

The WHO encourages African member states to promote and integrate traditional medical practices into their health system,

and many African countries have integrated traditional medicine into their national health policies 

and established regulatory frameworks for traditional medicine practitioners.

Africa’s biodiversity, and thus the region’s traditional medicine, is under threat from climate change, and erosion of Indigenous medical knowledge is occurring as many traditional health practitioners are aging and dying.

It is now increasingly important to protect and preserve traditional healing systems in Africa and other areas of the world.

This can best be accomplished through respectful, open, cross-cultural, 

and medical collaboration between traditional healers, their healing systems, and scientific/medical public health research.

The increased success rate in the use of traditional medicine in Africa

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the continent of Africa through traditional medicine came up with the Covid organics from Madagascar

which was said to be a cure for the deadly virus in Cameroon, the remedies put together by ash bishop Samuel kleda in its first 3 months

were said to have treated about 3000 people suffering from COVID-19 before the vaccines later on emerged.

Is traditional medicine the next big thing?

Forty countries now have traditional medicine policies, up from eight in 2000, and many have integrated traditional medicine into their national health policies.

and established regulatory frameworks for traditional medicine practitioners.

Academic institutions in 24 countries now offer traditional medicine courses to pharmacies and medical students.

integrated delivery of conventional and traditional medical services.

In Ghana, the availability of integrated services has doubled from 19 facilities offering these services in 2012 to 40 in 2020.

Other Countries and traditional policies

There are now more than 34 research institutes dedicated to African traditional medicines.

In 15 countries, public funding is allocated on a regular basis to traditional medical research.

Almost 90 domestic marketing authorizations have been issued for herbal medicines, and over 40 such medicines are included in national essential medicines lists.

Large-scale cultivation of medicinal plants is also increasing, along with the local production of herbal medicines.

In Ghana, the availability of integrated services has doubled from 19 facilities offering these services in 2012 to 40 in 2020.

Iboga Traditional medicine

One very important plant that has been making its way out of Africa in recent years is the iboga plant

which is exploited by many and sold to America, Europe, and other countries around the world.

The popularity of this plant in the market is credited to its ability to treat those who are suffering from a good number of addictions.

This has been seen as one of the most effective treatments against addiction as a host of clinics exist around the globe,

Most in Mexico use this plant to treat patients suffering from addiction. 

The key finding…

But as the continent celebrates the African traditional day this August 31st

it is important that sustainability be practiced as these plants cannot just be exploited without a plan to sustain them for future generations to also benefit from them

That’s why so many people have invested a lot in planting some of these trees like the case of iboga with a company in Cameroon LJS group

planting a hectare of this plant to serve humanity and ensure that it doesn’t get extinct.

Thanks for taking time out to listen to this podcast today, we hope to see you soon.

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