Swaziland has passed a bill regulating the use of traditional medicines and related substances, except certified.
The bill, Medicines and Related Substance Control Act 2016, is against the manufacturing, sale and use of uncertified herbs and traditional concoctions for the cure of illnesses.
The bill that was passed by Parliament two weeks ago calls for the establishment of a Medicine Regulatory Authority which will be responsible for the testing and registration of all forms of medicines that are sold locally.
Chief Pharmacist Fortunate Bhembe told APA that people making medicinal claims on the products they are selling would have to produce scientific evidence.
She said the bill was not against the sale of herbs and traditional concoctions provided they were strictly treated and labelled as supplements.
“We get worried when people start making claims that their products can cure medical illnesses. We want the products to be clearly labelled, tested and certified by our own Authority” she said.
The Act states that, “A person shall not sell any medicine or medical device unless the immediate container and the package in which it is sold are labelled with its registered name, number and any other prescribed particulars.”
The bill attracted varying reactions from traditional healers and general members of the public who felt that it was a way of barring people from accessing affordable help from traditional healers.