“First sustainable supply of raw herbals for Kenya’s primary health care provider”
Access to affordable health care is still generally unavailable for the average Kenyan. The situation is exacerbated by the generally low food security and supply of nutritious sources of food. Within this context, links to readily available, effective, and low cost health care has become extremely important, especially in light of high population growth rates. Traditional Herbal Medicine (THM) is increasingly filling this health care niche. Due to its wide availability and low cost, herbal medicine is now regarded as the primary health care provider in Kenya.
Growing human populations, increasing levels of poverty, and decreasing standards of health security for most Kenyans has stimulated an increasing demand for Traditional Herbal Medicine. Competition between herbal harvesters has increased as wild habitats and herbal populations have decreased. Such fierce competition has not only significantly driven up prices of raw herbal species but also led to the increasing use of unsustainable harvesting techniques.
In turn unsustainable harvesting methods leads to a reduced supply of herbal medicines, diminishing natural resources, threatened wildlife habitats, deforestation and disappearing indigenous knowledge that threatens the very foundation of the countries primary health care provider – Traditional Herbal Medicine.
Wild Living Resources is providing the first sustainable harvesting model for livelihoods, healthcare and biodiversity conservation in East Africa. Located on the Wild Living Resources business park, some 160 species of herbal plants are being sustainably harvested, processed and supplied into the Kenyan commercial herbal clinic market. Wild Living Resources partners with the Ufanisi Herbal CBO.
Harvester outgrowers are trained through practical demonstration at the business park THM model on sustainable harvesting techniques, quality control and processing. Certified single species herbals are purchased and marketed into the local commercial herbal clinic sector. For the first time, herbalists now have access to a sustainable supply of raw herbal product – safeguarding not only the conservation of the natural resource it relies upon but also the continued viability of Kenya’s primary health care provider.