Malawi stands a chance to start manufacturing medicines from traditional herbs and shrubs using modern technology with encouragement and guidance from African Organization for Standardization (ARSO).
This follows remarks by ARSO General Secretary, Dr Hermogene Nsengimana, in Blantyre on Wednesday. Nsengimana urged African countries to consider starting to manufacture medicines from many ready herbs and shrubs using modern technology.
He said it was worrisome that the COVID-19 pandemic disturbed Africa when the continent has traditional medicines which if processed using modern technology, can be a remedy in dealing with different diseases, ailments and health conditions.
“At continental level, we have prioritized 1,500 standard areas in sectors like Agriculture, Construction and Pharmaceuticals. This is very important for African countries. We are now focusing on harmonization of standards for production of medicines. We have been using traditional medicines for a long time. Covid-19 exposed our fragility. We need to take advantage of already existing traditional medicines to develop our pharmaceutical industry,” remarked Dr Nsengimana.
Acting Chief Executive Officer for the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), Thomas Senganimalunje, said the bureau was ready to provide standards towards the cause.
“Malawians should know that MBS has standards for all manufactured things and services including medicines. For medicines, there is also Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority.
“Manufacturers of medicines should consult the Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority for guidance. MBS has laboratories to test those medicines before allowing them to go on the market,” explained Senganimalunje.
Malawians, like all inhabitants of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, have been using traditional medicines from time immemorial.
Publication date: 14 October
Published on: All Africa