herbs.jpgThe Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe is in the process of developing statutory registration requirements for the practitioners of complementary or herbal medicines operating in the country.

With the number of people in Zimbabwe opting for herbal medicines these days, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe MCAZ, is taking measures to ensure that all complementary drugs are registered and cleared by the authority.

MCAZ Assistant Director for Legal and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Richard Rukwata said the changes in the marketplace need to be reflected in the regulation of complementary medicines and that is why his organisation is working on introducing new regulations to cater for the sector.

“We were only mandated to register orthodox medicines but because of the number of people who are now using herbal drugs, we have now decided to regularise the use of these medicines in the country before the country becomes a dumping ground, ” said Mr. Rukwata.

Mr. Rukwata said as a preliminary step in the process of developing a system of registration for complementary medicines, the MCAZ is taking into consideration practical issues involved in the selling of herbal drugs including the categories of therapists to be covered, the evidence base for each therapy and the educational qualifications, training and experience of the dispatching person.


“As MCAZ we want to make sure that all the claims displayed on a packaging are correct and to that end we will carry out our research and an assessment as per our operating procedures before we register the practitioner,” added Mr Rukwata.

At the moment there are no mechanisms in place to assist people who may suffer adverse reactions after taking complementary herbal medicines, yet products from different countries are flooding the market, with some people even selling from their homes.