There are 2500 persons registered in the registry of traditional medical practitioners. The principal traditional medical specialities are traditional birth attendance, herbalism, spiritualism, and massage (83).
The Department of Traditional and Popular Medicine of the Ministry of Health regulates traditional medicine in Nicaragua (82). No licence is required to practice traditional medicine. While there are no restrictions or legal barriers that limit its practice, the Nicaraguan Academy of Homeopathic Medicine is working towards gaining official status for homeopathy. The National Council of Universities supports homeopathy and accepts its practice by allopathic doctors (53).
A regulation on the use of plant medicines (83) is currently being developed and will eventually be under the responsibility of the Department of Drugstores of the Ministry of Health according to the General Law of Medication and Drugstores.
Education and training
In 1989, the Ministry of Health established the National Centre of Popular and Traditional Medicine (62) with the objective of training health promoters and allopathic medical and paramedical persons in these fields. In 1991, courses in traditional medicine were introduced into allopathic nursing schools, and allopathic nurses began being trained in basic plant therapy and medical anthropology. After the change of government in the same year, the Centre became a non-profit foundation independent from the Ministry of Health. Along with the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua and several institutions under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, the Centre forms a part of the National Commission for Essential Investigation.
Cecalli, Soynica, the School of Agriculture, UNAN, Real Nicaraguense de Sistemas Traditionales, and MINSA also offer training in traditional medicine. Though allopathic health personnel may follow these courses, training in traditional medicine is not offered through the official health services (83).