The Democratic Republic of the Congo retains health care legislation from the colonial era, including the Decree of 19 March 1952 on the practice of medicine, as amended (18, 19). The Decree grants exemplary status for traditional medicine practitioners, but also places limitations on their practice. Section 15 states the following:
The provisions of this Decree shall not be applicable to nationals of the Belgian Congo or of neighbouring African territories who, in population groups where such customs prevail, carry out treatments and administer drugs in accordance with the usage custom provided they do not constitute a breach of public order.
The Second Ordinary Congress of the Popular Revolutionary Movement in Zaire adopted a resolution in November 1977 (20) encouraging research into the rehabilitation and recognition of traditional medicine as a complement to allopathic medicine and urging the establishment of a division dedicated to traditional medicine within the Department of Health.