Closure of traditional medicine cabinets in Madagascar: Ministry of Public Health warns against abuses

Following a reminder note issued by the Ministry of Public Health on February 24th, traditional medicine and alternative practices in Madagascar have come under scrutiny. The President of the Order of Physicians, Dr. Eric Andrianaasolo, warned that many practices in this field were breaking the rules and putting people's lives at risk. The Ministry has announced sanctions for any transgressions of existing legislative and regulatory provisions in the field of traditional medicine, including the closure of cabinets and training centers and the withdrawal of authorization, without prejudice to any legal action against their authors.

The first association to be affected by this measure is Fitrama, which offers a three-month traditional medicine training program using medicinal plants. According to the Minister of Public Health, Professor Zely Arivelo Randriamanantany, the state has already taken measures against Fitrama because it does not have authorization for its training program. The ministry emphasizes that there is no formal training in traditional medicine, as this is a skill that is inherited rather than acquired. On the same day, the Director General of Fitrama, Jean Nirina Rafanomezantsoa, resigned from his position and handed over management of the association to "professionals" in order to comply with the laws on traditional medicine. Despite having worked in the field for several years, Jean Nirina Rafanomezantsoa is not a traditional practitioner and may have put many lives at risk.

The Ministry of Public Health has also warned against other care centers, particularly those offering the "Bioscan" system, which it called a "rip-off". The Ministry has reminded the public that all forms of direct or indirect advertising related to improved traditional remedies, as well as any media campaigns aimed at promoting traditional and alternative medicine practices, the use of equipment reserved for physicians, the use of non-scientifically proven equipment such as Bioscan, the establishment of diagnoses using medical jargon, the use of chemically prepared products classified as pharmaceuticals and outside of the pharmacopoeia, and the use of the title of healthcare professional ("doctor", "professor", "midwife" or others) are prohibited.

Charlatans are not just a problem in traditional medicine but are also present in other areas of healthcare, with "fake doctors" proliferating and establishing false diagnoses.

Source : L'Express de Madagascar

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