By Wafa A.Alkhazzan
Many Yemenis are increasingly treating themselves with alternative medicine rather than modern medicine. There are many reasons for this, such as high prices, and a lack of therapeutic services in Yemen.
Yahya Derham al-Shaik, Chairman of the Board of Directors of al-Thawra Hospital in Ta’iz said that the problem is resource-based.
“Much of our potential Yemeni staff is located in the United States, Germany, France, Denmark, and other countries. For this reason, Yemen suffers from a shortage of excellent medical staff.”
Dr. Abdul Qadir Alfatish, the hospital’s Heart Surgery Consultant, and a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ta’iz, pointed out that the problem lies in development, especially in cultural, social, and scientific levels, which have stagnated in the past ten years.
According to Alfatish, poverty is the major factor that keeps citizens away from their doctors, both in terms of treatment, and also the medications they need. Thus, they seek out alternative medicine.
“Yemeni society has many illiterate people, and most of its members are uneducated, and that’s why we find that the majority of people do not realize the fact that there is no benefit from intractable diseases. He just wants hope for recovery.”
Herbs shop owner Mohammed Abdulkareem stressed that the lack of side effects is a major reason why many Yemenis use alternative medicine.
“A lot of people are inclined to buy herbs for different diseases such as kidney failure, asthma, coughing, and skin diseases, without pain and with a natural content.”
Dr. Ahmed al-Sobati, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Sana’a University, says that there are herbalists who prescribe herbs without scientific knowledge. He added that he supports traditional medicine, but stresses that it must be scientifically confirmed to be effective.