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Medical doctors, traditional healers and academia collaboration crucial in cancer management

Medical doctors, traditional healers and academia collaboration crucial in cancer management

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

MEDICAL doctors, radiographers, oncology nurses, traditional healers, researchers and lecturers as well as members of the public converged at the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) this Friday for a breast cancer symposium, with management of cancer high on the agenda.

“If a patient comes we can see how much medication he or she requires. Even the state of a patient can tell you how much medication is required,” said Traditional healer, Sekuru Ndaruza Zhuzheya.

“We need to work together so that we assess the toxicity levels of the herbs you will be dispensing so that it doesn’t damage other parts of the body,” said one of the doctors.

According to HIT Dean School of Allied Health Sciences Mrs Eucaria Mushosho, a collaboration between academia, traditional healers and medical doctors is key in managing cancer.

“We want to encourage collaboration in the management of cancer, unfortunately, it looks like we have got silos from the discussions we were having inside where the traditional healers association may not be very free to come out in the open on how they are managing the patients and what they use for managing the patients because they fear their knowledge may be stolen at the same time the conventional system where patients are referred and are seen by nurses and doctors they also need to know what will be happening before the patient comes,” she said.

She added, “We also have the academia who are the researchers and what we are trying to encourage is to say whatever way we use to manage cancer we need to prove to say it’s working so when it’s working we also need to encourage referral across the board, we are working with everyone from the rural areas to the urban centers and as long as we continue to work in silos the patient who is the central person may not benefit maximally, we want to take that which we get from our traditional healers, we want to understand the type of herbs that they use and how they react when we combine them with chemotherapy.”

October was set aside as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness on the disease, promote early detection, support those affected and raise funds for research, prevention and treatment.

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