Traditional medicine clinics will be modernized

Original article appears in De Ware Tijd. Written by Fariel Menso.

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PARAMARIBO – On Monday, the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) has given the start sign for modernizing the traditional medicine clinics in the indigenous villages of Apetina and Tepu in the District Sipaliwini in the South of Suriname. This will affect roughly one thousand villagers. The project is being funded by approximately 88,000 USD, paid for by the Japanese embassy.

The director of ACT-Suriname, Minu Parahoe, says that the indigenous communities have a need for preserving traditional medicine. The clinics were without medication because the freezers operated by solar power were no longer in working condition. The shamans were therefore forced to pass on the treatment of patients in search of medicinal herbs.

Parahoe says that the first clinic was set up by ACT in the nineties. The other two clinics were gradually built. “The solar powers and the freezers will now be replaced.”

Besides arranging for the infrastructure replacement, ACT will work on strengthening the capacities of the local community. Within the budget, wheelchairs, sanitation and water, scales, solar panels, fans, and freezers will be purchased.

Parahoe says that the implementation of new infrastructure will enable the shamans to have medicines ready in storage for the most common illnesses. Furthermore, the ACT-Suriname Director says that the project will guarantee the retainment of traditional knowledge. The project will be completed within twelve months. 

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