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The Association of Traditional Doctors of Mozambique (AMETRAMO) in Sofala is complaining of the arrival in the province of foreign traditional doctors, who it considers dishonest and says are extorting money from citizens.
AMETRAMO vice-president Daniel da Costa said during African Day of Traditional Medicine celebrations in Beira on Saturday that the association has been receiving complaints from citizens deceived by foreign traditional doctors, especially from Malawi, almost daily.
These “cheaters”, as he called them, would promise to cure anything to earn money from patients, even going as far as to claim they could release convicted criminals from jail. The never approached his organisation with information about their work, he said.
“They glue pamphlets on the streets of the city about the diseases they heal. This kind of behaviour undermines out dignity and ends up calling into question the seriousness of all traditional doctors,” Da Costa said.
“It’s all lies. Foreign healers are not doing well, especially those of Malawian nationality,” he said. They only made their telephone numbers available, he said, and never where they lived.
“People who do not yet know that they are thieves come in contact with them and find themselves in homes that are not theirs and being asked for lots of money. They even have 90 days to solve the problems of the patients and later they change houses,” he explained. Once undeceived, the patients then went looking for AMETRAMO.
Asked whether the organization referred such cases to the judicial authorities Da Costa said yes, noting that AMETRAMO also contacted radio stations and newspapers to persuade them to stop running their advertisements.
Da Costa said that the relationship with the health authorities was good, and the government has been providing training for practitioners of traditional medicine about the care they should take with plants and others instruments used during the treatment of their patients.
He understood that his association faced many challenges, and some practitioners were not following the guidelines.
“There are a considerable number of healers who are not yet affiliated with the association, who claims to be doctors of traditional medicine. It is this group that is not complying with the health authority recommendations,” he said.
Speaking in Heroes Square in the Chota neighbourhood, da Costa also complained that explosive devices abandoned during the armed conflict surrounding the municipal and general elections of 2013 and 2014 were making accessing the forests in order to collect plants for the treatment of diseases difficult.
Mariano Domingos, provincial representative of the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Sofala, said that a legal device to regulate the activity of foreign healers must be created, as was the case in other sectors..Source: Rádio Moçambique / Diário de Moçambique
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