The National Centre of Applied Pharmaceutical Research (NCAPR), founded in 1976, is composed of five technical departments: ethnobotanical and botanical, chemistry, pharmacodynamics, galenic pharmacy, and experimental clinics. NCAPR has the capacity to analyse herbal medicines from their ethnobotanical form to their manufactured form.
NCAPR received financial support from the United Nations Development Programme in 1984 to undertake several projects. In 1985, NCAPR and the World Health Organization agreed to a four-year collaborative project on research into traditional medicines. The main objectives were to establish an inventory of medicinal plants and their indications, investigate the therapeutic and toxic effects of the registered plants, and undertake research standardizing and improving the presentation of traditional medicines.
In 1995, NCAPR began reviewing the practice of traditional medicine as a whole by analysing the role of traditional medicine practitioners in the primary health care system.
The National Tradi-Therapist Association of Madagascar was formed in 1997.
Serving a population of 12.3 million, there are 4500 allopathic physicians, 220 pharmacists, 360 dentists, 1635 midwives, 3124 nurses, 1282 sanitary aides, and more than 10 000 practitioners of traditional medicine.
Traditional medicine practitioners are involved in Madagascar's primary health care programme (6).
In 1992, Madagascar had no legislative/regulatory texts governing the practice of traditional medicine, no licensing process for traditional health practitioners, and no procedures for the official approval of traditional medical practices or remedies (6). In 1996, a commission was created to study the legal aspects of traditional medicine with the intention of regulating its practice. In 1998, a project to grant official legal recognition to traditional medical practice was launched. In the same year, a census of traditional medicine practitioners was conducted, and, in addition, a project in the eastern and northern parts of Madagascar began integrating traditional medicine practitioners into the official health system. In 1999, regulations for herbal medicines were drafted. These were approved by Parliament in 2000.
Education and training
Madagascar does not have any official training facilities or programmes for traditional medicine for either health workers or lay persons (6).