AIDS is one of the leading causes of death in Tanzania and western medicine is often unavailable or too expensive. The World Health Organization recommends incorporating traditional medicine into the health care system in order to reach everyone. It is important to test the traditional medicine to ensure that it is safe for people to take and effective at treating the illness.
We believe in finding culturally accepted and locally influenced solutions. Using treatments sourced from traditional medicine addresses the main issues surrounding the lack of adherence to ART. Plant based treatments are locally sourced and sustainable, more affordable and accessible, and can be dispensed outside of the hospital system which allows patients to be seen and treated while maintaining the privacy of their HIV status.
An estimated 80% of people in Africa use traditional medicine as their first line of defense against illness and disease. Traditional medicine is often sought out because traditional healers far outnumber biomedical workers, the treatment costs are considerably lower, pharmaceutical drugs are not always available, and people believe that herbal medicine produces fewer side effects. Using locally grown plants as a basis for medicines and supplements ensures that practitioners always have an available option for treating life threatening diseases. By working together with both government agencies and community members in Tanzania, we deliver service that is needed, requested, and has a great impact.
Our HIV treatment allows people to work and take care of their children. This allows children to stay in school instead of working or caring for their sick elders. Parents with HIV being treated and staying alive, means fewer children being orphaned. We are testing traditional medicines for efficacy and safety in the laboratories at the National Institute for Medical Research and clincal trials are being done in clinics and hospitals. Safe treatments that are clinically proven to work are made available and distributed.