Traditional medicines must be preserved

Scientists and traditional healers are meeting in Pretoria this week to discuss means of preserving indigenous medicines and exploiting its benefits.
The workshop will look at ways to protect the intellectual property rights of traditional knowledge through legislation.

Science and Technology Deputy Director-General Molapo Qhobela said traditional medicine has the potential to significantly improve the lives of South Africans.
However, this indigenous knowledge must be nurtured and preserved.
“Evidence is overwhelming that... African traditional medicine [has] potent medicinal properties that heal people,” he said.

The Traditional Healers Association’s Phepsile Maseko said most people recognise the value of indigenous medicine, but government must "...ensure that traditional medicine is profiled, preserved and promoted.”

The workshop will also look at conserving the country’s biodiversity.
(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

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