RAPID urbanisation in Papua New Guinea is making people more dependent on manufactured medicine and drugs to treat and cure illnesses, according to Health Minister Sasa Zibe.
Mr Zibe said this was because more people lacked knowledge of traditional medicinal plants that have healing agents which were found in most parts of the country and had been used by locals for generations.
“As a result of modernisation, people are depending more on the chemist and the pharmacist’s advice for drugs to treat health conditions, thus spending more money just to receive primary health care,” he said.
Mr Zibe was speaking when he launched a book on traditional medicine in Papua New Guinea last Thursday.
“The use of traditional medicine ensures the protection of the livelihoods of the people,” he said.
He called for more discoveries and scientific research into the many other species of plants that were available and had not been studied.
The book put together biological and scientific research studies and findings of 126 common and unknown plant species by a University of Papua New Guinea team of researchers. Plants were mostly identified in Central and Morobe province.
The author of the book Dr Prem Rai with contributions from the UPNG school of natural and physical science.