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Herbal plants have played an important role traditional medicine therapy of multiple human illnesses since the existence of man in many parts of the globe .The most common eye diseases include conjunctivitis, cataract, glaucoma, eye allergies, eye inflammation. The problem of adverse drug effects of modern drugs, has led to the increased use nowadays of herbal remedies in the treatment of eye diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO), defines traditional medicine as, the knowledge, skills and practices based on theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to diverse cultures, be it explicable or not that are used in the maintenance of health and the prevention, diagnosis, improvement and the treatment of physical and mental diseases. In the last decade, the use of traditional medicine has gained popularity and has expanded globally. While traditional medicine is used in developing countries for primary health care, it is also being used in developed countries with advanced health care systems. Traditional medicine accounts for up to 60% of health care delivered in Cameroon, while in other African countries traditional medicine is being relied on as a result of cultural and historical beliefs and up to 80 % of the population in Africa use traditional medicine to meet their health care needs. Although, traditional medicine is widely used, issues around policy; safety; efficacy and quality control are still of prime public health concern.
Traditional eye care practices are believed to be indigenous medicines used by community members for the treatment of eye diseases or ocular problems. This is the most applied form of eye treatment in Africa and other parts of Asia and Latin America. Eye care is a public health concern in Cameroon due to late diagnosis of eye pathology and limited access to medication and affordability of prescription eye glasses. This paper attempts to review the herbal medicine practice as an alternative approach to eye treatment using traditional healing, and the development of eye health promotion strategies in the primary health care system in Cameroon.
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