Zanzibar – THE RESEARCH for herbal medicines that can be used as an alternative treatment for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is ongoing and will be followed by added value before being scientifically recommended.
Value added generally focuses on production or manufacturing processes, marketing or services that increase the value of commodities.
In a meeting to reveal the two-year project, researchers from the Zanzibar Health Research Institute (ZHRI), the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) as well as the Zanzibar Planning Commission spoke said the focus on research and development of herbal medicines was timely and vital in a context of global growth. both transmissible and NCD.
Dr Amour Suleiman Mohamed – Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, Welfare, Gender, Elders and Children, who chaired the meeting held in the ministry’s conference room, highlighted the improvement of herbal medicines in the country, as many people still rely on them for treatment.
“The idea of more research and value chain is important. The analysis of herbalists or traditional healers, then proper cultivation, maintenance and preservation, harvest, processing, storage, packaging industry of medicinal and aromatic plants must be standardized to meet the criteria for certification, ”said the director.
He also felt that Zanzibar should, in the near future, have an institute of traditional and herbal medicine to conduct research, training and production of quality alternative medicines. The project begins by focusing on herbs that can treat asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
NIMRI Chief Scientist Professor Hamis Malebo, who is also the President of ‘Traditional and Alternative’, said: “Research and adding value is important because Zanzibar is fortunate to have many potential trees and trees. other plants to be treated such as cloves and spices which must be scientifically developed. “
ZAHRI chief executive Dr Mayasa Salum Ally said the research, which includes meeting with at least two herbalists from each of Zanzibar’s ten districts, before lab work begins, is expected to begin next week.
The project supported by the Zanzibar Planning Commission is funded by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) with around $ 70 million, as the principal investigator and sponsor of the project, Dr Afua Mohamed of the commission of planning promised maximum cooperation for success.
Dr Khalfan Amour-coordinator, COSTECH Zanzibar said that China and India share a good experience as Asian nations have developed herbal medicines, “In many health centers, patients have options for them. Western medicines or locally produced herbal medicines. “