Prospects and Challenges of Medicinal Plants Conservation and Traditional Medicine in Tanzania
Received Date: Sep 17, 2013 / Accepted Date: Oct 07, 2013 / Published Date: Oct 14, 2013
A qualitative study was carried to assess prospects and challenges of medicinal plants conservation and traditional medicine in Tanzania. The study shows that TRM and medicinal have great prospects in healthcare delivery worldwide. These prospects have more impact in developing countries where 70%-80% of population used TRM for Primary Healthcare (PHC). It is reported that 25% of prescribed drugs in conventional healthcare were derived from their ethnomedicinal use in TRM. Medicinal plants still provided hope for discovery of new drugs for the resistant diseases and those that were not treated by conventional prescribed drugs. Traditional medicine and medicinal plants were faced with challenges notably; threats due to increasing depletion of the natural resource as an impact of population increase, urbanization, modernization of agriculture and climatic change. There was erosion of indigenous medical knowledge as most of the traditional health practitioners were aging and dying, while the expected youths to inherit the practice shy away from practice. The youths in rural settings who were willing to practice some of them die because of AIDS. The other major challenges on traditional medicine and MPs were constraints and include lack of data on seriously threatened and endangered medicinal plant species. Others include inadequate and conflicting guidelines on management and utilization of natural resources, especially medicinal plants. Efforts for scaling up the practice of TRM and medicinal plant conservation have been suggested. These were creating awareness of the importance traditional medicine and medicinal plants in healthcare; training THPs on good practices for provision of healthcare; conserving medicinal plants through in-situ and ex-situ programs and sustainable harvesting of medicinal plants resources and training conventional health workers on the contribution of TRM and medicinal plants in PHC. Traditional health practitioners, TRM and medicinal plants should be essential components in PHC in order to meet the health millennium goals by 2025.
Keywords: Tanzania; Traditional Medicine; Medicinal Plants; Opportunities; Threats; Constraints
Citation: Kayombo EJ, Mahunnah RLA, Uiso FC (2013) Prospects and Challenges of Medicinal Plants Conservation and Traditional Medicine in Tanzania. Anthropol 1: 108. Doi: 10.4172/2332-0915.1000108
Copyright: ©2013 Kayombo EJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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