Roots must grow for innovation in medicine

2018-07-11 06:02
Tshegofatso Leeuw Social Observer

Tshegofatso Leeuw Social Observer

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The medical innovation bill traces its roots from the passing away of Lord Maurice Saatchi’s wife.

Saatchi, a United Kingdom businessman and entrepreneur, has tirelessly advocated for the medical innovation bill.

Its contents states that the bill required doctors, medical researchers and pharmacists to oversee groundbreaking cancer treatments in cases where other treatments failed to offer a cure.

The bill has a protection clause for doctors, granted they have patients’ consent that they would not be sued, hence shielding doctors from common law liability.

What we need are passio­nate and informed parliamentarians who will put party affiliations aside and give votes needed to see the bill passed.

Thus far in South Africa the bill, championed by the late Mario Ambrosini, a parliamentarian, has focused more on marijuana for medicinal use and with bias towards cancer treatment. Without a doubt, I support Ambrosini’s bill.

I am also of the school of thought that more can be added to the bill to enrich it; hence more African indigenous plants for medicinal purposes where drug rehabilitation has failed.

After all, in bathing and cosmetics products we daily use extracts from plants such as from aloe vera, shea butter, rosemary, and much more.

Continuous innovation of medicines is a necessity.

Growing up in townships in the early 90s, one often was exposed to indigenous plants such as lengala, lekgala, tapole ea mokgotlhwane, etc.

An old man then gave you medicinal advice off the cuff once you told him what was bothering you.

My late grandfather Dr F.K. Leeuw was on a research journey of medical innovation projects. He once, in 1998, presented a keynote address on building relationships between homeopath and drug use.

Bear in mind, during the 90s talking or even whispering about medical innovation and plants in medicines, was unpopular.

The Free State must invest into this bill. The province has invested so much money in sending many youngsters to Cuba to study medicine.

Results will be huge; thus will lead to job creation for medical students, administrator jobs at the provincial medical innovation centre and publishing of useful data.

Now imagine that, the Free State giving advice globally on the passing and implementing of the medical innovation bill.

I suggest the Free State since the bill has not been enacted nor any provincial legislature has debated it, and section 3 of the medical innovation bill is about a minister launching pilot centres. This Free State medical innovation centre can serve as a pilot centre think tank.

South Africa is in need of think tanks.
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Express welcomes anyone to contribute to the weekly column. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words in Sotho, Tswana or English) via email to teboho. setena@­volksblad.com.

Writers are welcome to send articles of a spiritual nature.

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