As health system collapses, Zimbabwe turns to street herbs

Monday, November 7, 2016

Zimbabwe’s public health system is collapsing along with the economy, with some major hospitals suspending all non-emergency surgeries because painkillers are scarce.

Some in this southern African country are turning to the growing number of peddlers of traditional medicines, many of them young men occupying street corners in the capital, Harare.

“Faulty gear boxes, blown-out fuses . I can fix it all!” shouted Shepherd Mushore. He stood outside a now-closed garage, but he is no mechanic. He displayed tree barks, roots and leaves of all kinds.

“Gear boxes and fuses” are his euphemisms for sexual matters.

“I can treat all types of diseases that you know. I am not a herb seller. I am an African doctor,” the 34-year-old Mushore told The Associated Press.

His baseball cap and T-shirt were emblazoned with the U.S. flag. The beads around his neck and skinny jeans completed the picture of a hip-hop wannabe, not a herbalist.

Mushore admitted he is not trained in traditional medicine.

Source: Washington Post (link opens in a new window)

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