THE National Medical Research Institute (NIMR) has been urged to cooperate with other institutions in the country in conducting research on traditional medicines in order to come up with products useful to the nation.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Prof Mabula Mchembe said over the weekend during the climax of the 40th anniversary of NIMR that the institute should think of areas which need collective efforts from other experts in conducting the research.
Prof Mchembe said NIMR can team up with institutions that also deal with traditional medicines including Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Institute of Traditional Medicines, Sokoine University and University of Dar es Salaam.
“The cooperation with these institutions will help to come up with products that will be useful to our nation,” Prof Mchembe stressed.
President John Magufuli had already directed relevant authorities to research on traditional medicines as alternative healthcare...”you should fast track the research in order to allow the use of both traditional and modern medicines.”
Prof Mchembe also stressed the importance of fast-tracking research on traditional medicines as alternative health care.
“This will provide people with the option of using either modern medicines or traditional medicines.”
Inaugurating the 12th Parliament recently, President Magufuli said that in the next five years, his government will strengthen traditional medicines’ research department as one of the measures to encourage the public to use them as alternative cures.
Dr Magufuli said that Tanzanians should not ignore traditional medicines because they have great contribution in human health.
NIMR through its Department of Traditional Medicines Research had developed different herbal and alternative therapies to ascertain their effectiveness.
They include NIMRCAF, a remedy for cough and flu, NIMRVIT, a healthy drink with multiple vitamins, PERSIVIN, herbal treatment for benign prostate, hypertrophy and NIMREGENIN, a herbal remedy for the management of cancer.
The PS, however, said that NIMR has recorded notable achievements in researching communicable and noncommunicable diseases including Malaria, HIV/AIDS and change of treatment of malaria from chloroquine to sulphadoxine – pyrimethamine (SP) and from SP to Artemether Combination Therapy (ACT).
“NIMR has also contributed a lot in Non Communicable Diseases through its research which have helped to identify the magnitude of the problem in the country and risk factors,” he said.
He called upon NIMR to stick to its role of developing better methods and techniques of enhancing disease management, prevention and control in the country.