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About the Institute

Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb
People behind the vision
The Ibn Sina Institute

The Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb was established as a Public Benefit Organisation, in 1997 to promote the practice and training of Tibb in South Africa. Founded by Prof. Rashid Bhikha, who has dedicated his lifetime to health upliftment, the Institute has worked tirelessly towards effective and holistic healthcare through the principles of Tibb. In this interview, Prof. Bhikha talks about his vision for the Institute and his passion for social upliftment.

About the Institute

The Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb (waqf), a Public Benefit Organisation (930 008 939) was established in 1997 to promote the training and practice of Tibb in South Africa, with the objective of developing a healthcare model that is accessible, affordable and effective. To achieve this objective three requirements had to be met. Firstly, academic support for the training of Tibb (Unani-Tibb), secondly, the official recognition of Tibb with the Department of Health and thirdly, the training of Tibb doctors at a local university.

Initially academic support began with Hamdard Pakistan in the late 1990’s – currently the Institute is supported by Jamia Hamdard, Aligarh University, National Institute of Unani Medicine and the Central Council for Research for Unani Medicine – India.

In 2001, the Institute facilitated the recognition of Unani-Tibb with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa. This council regulates the training and practice of Complementary and Alternate Medicine modalities including amongst others Homeopathy, Chiropractic, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine and Naturopathy. In 2002, the Medicines Control Council of South Africa, officially recognised Unani-Tibb as one of the complementary medications, that will be under the jurisdiction of this council with respect to registration and control.

In 2003 the Institute established the training of Tibb doctors at the University of the Western Cape’s, School of Natural Medicine, commencing with both a 5-year undergraduate programme and a 1-year postgraduate diploma for medical doctors and clinical primary healthcare nurses. The curriculum developed for the training was reviewed by Hamdard University Pakistan, Aligarh University, and Jamia Hamdard University from India. Also, in 2003 Prof Bhikha commenced with his PhD in education entitled “African Renaissance in Health Education: Developing an Integrative Programme of Unani-Tibb training for Healthcare Professionals in Southern Africa”, based on the curriculum developed for the University of the Western Cape. 



To participate in the promotion of healthcare provision locally and internationally through quality, cost-effective, integrative medicine.


In line with its vision, the Institute is committed to:

  • Facilitate the training and development of Tibb practitioners.
  • Introducing the Tibb philosophical principles to healthcare professionals wishing to integrate Tibb into their current practice
  • Integrating the Tibb principles in primary healthcare clinics and at consumer level, with emphasis on the role of lifestyle in health promotion and illness management.
  • Establishing primary healthcare clinics and holistic wellness centres in underprivileged areas.

The Institute has worked tirelessly for more than twenty years to establish this comprehensive and holistic system of the founders of medicine Hippocrates, Galen and Ibn Sina into a sustainable and efficacy driven model suited to address health needs in the 21st Century. God willing, the re-introduction of Tibb as an integrative model both locally and globally will address many of the problems facing healthcare today.