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World Bank, Washington, DC
2012-08-13T13:11:06Z | 2012-08-13T13:11:06Z | 2000-11

The note looks at the work of a regional task force in East, and Southern Africa, established on April 2000 to coordinate activities related to the widespread use of traditional medicine, by people with HIV/AIDS in the region, and on the role of traditional healers in AIDS prevention. The high costs, and scarcity of many essential drugs, including antiretroviral drugs in Africa, means that most people affected by the epidemic, use traditional herbal treatments. At the same time, various agencies, and nongovernmental organizations were leading the development of partnerships between biomedical, and traditional health sectors. Clinical data on herbal treatments effective against herpes, and HIV-associated chronic diseases have been cited, as was preliminary data on herbal medicine that seems to increase CD4-cell counts, conducive to improvements in HIV-related illnesses. However, mutual misunderstanding between modern, and traditional practitioners, and weak organization of healers, contribute to the marginal status of traditional medicine. On reviewing efforts, the Global Initiative For Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health accepted the responsibility to lay the foundation for a network of researchers, to build a research program to identify, assess, and develop safe local treatments against HIV/AIDS.


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