The Ministry of Health has established the Centre for Traditional Medicine, which is limited to basic work in a few botanical medicines and has little input into pharmaceutical issues. Much of the knowledge available on botanical specimens is based on their use in neighbouring countries. Shops throughout the country sell traditional medicines from around the world.
A law on the organization of traditional therapeutics and traditional pharmacopoeia was enacted in 1964 (214). This law defines traditional therapeutics as treatment and care using traditional methods, excluding surgical and obstetrical procedures, dental surgery, and electrical, chemical, or bacteriological methods of therapy and analysis. To practice, traditional medicine practitioners must be at least 25 years old, have completed a three-year apprenticeship, and possess a licence issued by the Minister of Health. Traditional medicine may not be practised on the premises of allopathic health care establishments (215).
The National Drug Policy (216), developed with technical collaboration from the World Health Organization, is intended to increase the importance of traditional medicine and encourage traditional medical practice as a complement to allopathic medicine. The Policy states that fundamental and applied research on traditional remedies will be pursued and diseases that can be treated effectively with traditional medicines will be identified. The Law on the Management of Pharmaceuticals was adopted on 9 May 1996 (216), replacing relevant existing legislation. Following the adoption of this law by the National Assembly, a draft decree pertaining to the manufacture, importation, exportation, and supply of traditional medicines was submitted by the Ministry of Health to the Council of Ministers.
Education and training
There is no officially recognized curriculum incorporating the use of traditional medicines.