Dr. Sekagya Yahaya Hills is a traditional healer by calling, a dental surgeon (Makerere University) by profession, and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health, PGD in Law (Law Development Centre), PHD Candidate and (Mbarara University of Science and Technology), and an African Spiritualist. Dr. Sekagya started community healing as early as in primary five. Therefore, as a naturally called traditional healer, Dr. Sekagya’s mission is to contribute towards sustainable community development and a good standard of health by all the people through promotion of traditional medical knowledge and practices, especially, in vulnerable and poor rural areas.
He asserts that traditional medicine and its practitioners were officially recognized by the Alma Ata Declaration in 1978 as important resources for achieving Health for All. Since then, UN member states and WHO governing bodies have adopted a number of resolutions and declarations on traditional medicine. Notable among these are resolution on Promoting the role of traditional medicine in health systems adopted by the WHO Regional Committee for Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in 2000 and the declaration on the Decade of African Traditional Medicine (2001–2010) by African Heads of State and Government in Lusaka, in 2001.
Traditional medicines and practices are as age-old and diverse as humanity itself. The diversity of these traditional medicines and practices are in part attributable to compartmentalized and largely isolated cultural evolutionary processes in the context of a need for health and wellness. In spite of this relative isolation, however, there is a remarkable degree of similarity in healing practices, beliefs, and founding principles when comparing rich and varied cultures throughout the global community.
The traditional medicine situation in many countries shows important differences in the degree of organization and integration of traditional medicine into mainstream health systems. It can be concluded that while some countries have no structures in place, others have achieved its considerable organization and integration into the health system.
Traditional medicine faces many challenges and necessitates to take following actions:
- to implement activities that advocate for and stimulate the development and implementation of tools for institutionalizing traditional medicine and integrating into health systems;
- to advocate and mobilize additional resources to conduct and share research results;
- to develop local production of standardized traditional medicines for inclusion in national essential medicines lists;
- to promote the acquisition of knowledge and skills by facilitating the exchange of experiences; and the development of training programmes and training materials; and work with relevant partners to document and protect traditional medicine knowledge.
Uganda has a diverse traditional medicines culture. It encompasses religions, local ethnic groups, traditions and beliefs, value systems, and languages among others. Today, Uganda’s economy is guided by the National Development Plan. A healthy society with great values and customs is required to attain desired and sustainable development.
Therefore, PROMETRA-UGANDA stands for bridging the gap in the National Development Plan through a holistic approach in the promotion of the traditional medicine and has the mandate to clearly implement activities which create an image and a brand of traditional medicine in Uganda and in the Great Lakes Region.
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