Uganda’s Health Minister, Steven Malinga has today closed all reflexology centres and banned advertising of their activities in the country.
Malinga was furious that these users of traditional physical treatment methods like applying pressure on reflex points of the feet and hands were misleading the public and lacked training.
The banning of reflexology was informed by a survey by his ministry indicating that most of the practioners lacked basic training and did not comply with the operational standards.
While addressing journalists, Malinga expressed concerns that reflexologists were exploiting the media both print and electronic to undermine conventional medicine and claim to offer solutions that are far more superior to it.
“These centers claim to offer solutions to all types and forms of ailments hence attracting many people desperately seeking to be treated, and claim that theirs is conventional medication,” read the stamen released by the ministry.
The reflexology centers were also found to be preparing and selling herbal concoctions in an inappropriate manner. The concoctions had no labels, dosages, expiry dates etc, they claim to be conducting research on human subjects.
The minister called on Kampala city council and other urban authorities to stop the licensing of more reflexology clinics and ordered the law enforcement agencies to take appropriate action.
He also called on members of the public to seek medical treatment from recognised health centers with trained personnel.
Malinga noted that while majority of the reflexology centers were smart, reflexology is not regulated by any formal authority, so their standard of practice is not known.
The closure of these centres will affect patients that have developed some kind of faith in this treatment but it will also cut into the revenues of some media houses.
As the ministry bans reflexology, thousands of people are flocking Loliondo in northern Tanzania for an herbal drink that the administer claims cures Hiv/Aids, cancer among other diseases, although a number of patients have died at his compound. The retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, Ambilikile Mwasapile, 76, claims that the concoction that millions travelling miles for was prescribed by God.