Saturday, December 7, 2013
Govt: Traditional herbal healers should follow medical laws
THE government has directed Municipal and district council’s executives in the country to take immediate legal actions against traditional herbal healers who flout medical law which requires them not to advertise their services in public. The call by the government has come following the presence of numerous public advertisements which have been placed mostly in roadside in most towns and cities in the country that describes the expertise and experience of a traditional healer contrary to medial rules and regulations. The Deputy Minister for Health Dr. Seif Rashid said in Parliament yesterday that, according to medical law, no any traditional healers are allowed to advertise their services which they render to the people and asked the executives to take punitive measures against the perpetrators wherever possible as in accordance to the law. He further elaborated that, unless such advertisements have been authorized by the National Traditional Healers Council (NTHC) which he said only gives a permit to indicate the location and the presence of the traditional healers in a particular working area. He said that, his ministry would not tolerate the habit shown by local healers as according to health policy of 1990, which was reviewed in 2007, recognizes traditional healing methods as among the health services being offered to the people in the country. Either the government through Parliament in 2009 had enacted a law on healing No. 23 Cap 10(1) which prevents anybody in the country from advertising without following the laid down rules and regulations set by the National Traditional Healers Council.
Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Health Dr. Seif Rashid
Also by following principles of medicines as outlined in Cap 15 (1) which also restricts someone from advertising such services in public notice without prior consent by the National Traditional Healers Council. He said the health ministry would continue working in collaboration with the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) to net the notorious traditional healers as such advertisements are under the traditional healing Act which are closely related with the broadcasting and media laws. In view of this, however, he has asked the executives to take legal actions against them, as traditional healing methods have been legalized as among the services which are recognized by the government in the country. He said the government would continue making use of the existing medical laws as a way to curb with the increasing habit being practiced by few traditional healers who do not want to follow the laid down rules and regulations set by his ministry. However, he elaborated more on the medical laws saying that, the laws allows the traditional healers as well as medical practitioners in the country to show where they are and at what time could they be available so that their customers should get to know about this, and not specifically the kind of services they render and their ability. Dr. Seif was responding a question which earlier was asked by Dr. Dalaly .P. Kafumu (CCM) Igunga who wanted to know action taken so far by the government over the control of the increased habit by some local herbal healers who are fond of advertising their services in open sign boards and some other newspapers in the country that are able even to heal a deadly HIV/AIDS disease. According to Dr. Kafumu, the increased situation has made many people suspected to have been infected by such a deadly disease which up to now has no medicine, to believe in such deceit and abandon the use of hospital medical treatment and conditions imposed by doctors as safety measures to be taken against such deadly diseases an aspect which ultimately resulted into loss of their lives.