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Tanzania launches research project on herbal medicines for non-communicable diseases

By Nneka Nwogwugwu

Tanzania’s Zanzibar authorities have launched a research project that will enhance the use of herbal medicines as an alternative cure for non-communicable diseases.

Amour Suleiman Mohamed, Zanzibar’s director of medical services in the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare, Gender, Elderly and Children when he launched the project on Saturday said, the research will also involve adding value to herbal medicines through manufacturing processes and marketing.

“Research and developing herbal medicines is timely and vital amid global increase of both communicable and non-communicable diseases,” said Amour Suleiman Mohamed, Zanzibar’s director of medical services in the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare, Gender, Elderly and Children when he launched the project.

The two-year project will be undertaken by scientific researchers from the Zanzibar Health Research Institute and the National Institute for Medical Research, overseen by the Zanzibar Planning Commission and will be funded by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology.

Mohamed called for the need to improve and promote herbal medicines saying many people still depended on them for treatment.

He said the project will initially focus on herbs that can treat common asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure.

He said proper cultivation, maintenance and conservation, harvesting, processing, storage, packaging of the medicinal and aromatic plant industry are required to be standardized to meet the criteria for the certification of the herbal medicines.

Mohamed proposed that Zanzibar should in the near future have a traditional and herbal medicines institute to conduct research, training, and production of high-quality herbal medicines.

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