A group of fourteen students from the International Education of Students Abroad (USA) visited the Tibb Treatment Centres to broaden their understanding about the various paradigms of healthcare available in South Africa. The IES ABROAD program provides medical students with an opportunity to explore healthcare in South Africa, by spending time in various townships and healthcare facilities, such as government hospitals and the Tibb Treatment Centres. Students had the opportunity to shadow Tibb practitioners at both Tibb Treatment Centres, situated Langa and Surrey estate.
Amirah Majiet and Maryam Harnekar, MBChB V students from the University of Stellenbosch spent four weeks at the Tibb Treatment Centres to complete their elective module as part of their studies. These two future doctors had the privilege of shadowing Tibb practitioners at the Tibb Treatment Centres as well as joining in on community based activities at various community day hospitals.
Amirah and Maryam shares their views:
My experience at the TIBB Centre
By Amirah Majiet-Joseph
“I started my elective at the TIBB Centre on the 26 June 2018 – greeted with a warm and friendly environment. The staff was always willing to assist and were always smiling.
We received a presentation regarding what Tibb is all about and what they strive to be. It broadened my view on what herbal medicine really is and how it impacts the health of so many patients on a daily basis.
On another day we had a presentation on cupping therapy and its benefits. I was fortunate enough to have had cupping done on myself as part of the presentation. It was a surreal experience and really relaxing.
The staff and doctors at the centre were always willing to assist and help with everything and ready to explain things to you when it needed to be.
I had the opportunity of visiting both the Langa and Surrey Estate centres as part of my elective and it was amazing to see the different types of people that come into the clinics on a daily basis. We also attended talks at the Kasselsvlei day clinic where we empowered some people on the benefits of healthy lifestyles and gave them advice.
We were allowed to see the patients on our own and thereafter present to the doctors which gave us a sense of responsibility and belonging at the centre. We got to understand the whole approach and process of managing a patient at the centre which was somewhat similar to a normal clinic but also so much more.
The TIBB Centre had really opened my eyes that there is much more to treating a patient than just the disease itself.”
Elective at the Tibb Treatment Centres
By Maryam Harnekar
“Health and well-being is definitely an entity which has many aspects that needs to be explored. To think that one form of medicine is sufficient to tend to all that ails human-beings is to greatly underestimate our complexities and individuality. The Tibb system of medicine has interested me for some time now and after spending four weeks learning about it, that interest has grown.
What I found most intriguing is the temperament assessment and how the same conditions would be treated differently based on the individual. This ensures that the practitioner treats an individual holistically and not just as a disease. There is a big focus on lifestyle modifications and nutritional advice (all individualized) as this equips the patient to take charge of their own health rather than just relying on medication. I also saw first-hand how the Tibb practitioners go the extra mile for their patients which I believe stems from this approach of first getting to know the patient as an individual.
This was an enriching experience and gave me a deeper understanding of medicine and healing”.
Following the successful Allied-Tibb partnership, which began in 2015, for the training of more than 2000 Community Healthcare Workers/Ward Based Outreach Teams (WBOT’s), and Health Promoters from the 126 clinics in the City of Joburg as Tibb Lifestyle Advisors, and the successful research project “Care and Support for Improved Patient Outcomes (CaSIPO)” during the 2017-2018 year, a new contract to implement Tibb lifestyle within the City of Joburg clinics was signed.
The research carried out, in City of Joburg Region D (Soweto) focused on the
impact of the Tibb Six Lifestyle Factors in health promotion in 120 clients and in 480 patients with chronic illness conditions, measured in Quality of Life parameters.
The research has shown excellent results on the impact of Tibb Lifestyle Factors in the 600 case studies – Health Promotion and Illness Management.
Encouraged by the success of the CaSIPO research, phase 4 of the Tibb-Allied partnership to mentor and coach health promoters and WBOT team leaders to include this tool in their day to day routine during their course of work.
A further 3000 health workers in the Johannesburg’s city regional clinics will be trained this year to increase the health promotion department’s capacity to deliver on its mandate. Over 21000 beneficiaries, being regular clients at health facilities and in ward settings will have improved health outcomes by the end of 2019. This would further capacitate health promoters, WBOT team leaders and Community Health Workers implementing life changing programmes earmarked for a better health for all.
From its earliest days, shortly after South Africa’s democracy, self-established clinics and partnerships with local government were a priority for the Institute. Many of these initiatives are still in existence to this day.
The results so obtained will be used to strengthen Community Oriented Primary Care interventions in Gauteng and other provinces. Further, they will be of great input in the future strategic planning of both the Gauteng departmental of social development as well as well as the Department of Health.
“Unjani” in both Zulu and Xhosa means, “How are you?” At Unjani Clinics, they believe in the holistic health of their patients, not just their physical health. Using the broad term “how are you” encompasses mental (mind), physical (body) and spiritual (soul) well-being. Here at the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb & Tibb Health Science, we share the same values and opinions to health as the sisters at Unjani. On the 16th of February 2018 we hosted a training workshop attended by 40 of the clinic’s sisters from all over South Africa.
The workshop focused on three primary objectives for each nurse to practice
The workshop was successful with a 100% pass-rate from all attending nurses. We thank Unjani HQ for reaching out to have their sisters trained on the Tibb Lifestyle.
In addition to participating in the “International Conference of Unani Medicine: Re-visiting Ilmul Jarahat (Surgery)” that was held at Aligarh Muslim University in India, the management of the university conferred upon Prof Bhikha the “Ibn-E-Sina International Award” in recognition of his outstanding contribution for the inception, procreation and research & development of Unani Medicine Globally. The achievement of establishing the training and practice of Unani-Tibb in South Africa is unique in that it is the only country outside the Indian subcontinent where Unani-Tibb is officially recognised by the Department of Health under the auspices of the Allied Health Professionals Council of South Africa
The department of Jarahat (Surgery), Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh India organized an International Conference JCON-4 “The International Conference of Unani Medicine: Re-visiting Ilmul Jarahat (Surgery)” at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Delegates from more than twenty countries participated in the conference including representatives from four Iranian universities. In keeping with this theme Prof Bhikha presented a paper on “Surgery: What is the role of Unani-Tibb?”.
The Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb is proud to announce the publication of its latest book titled “Theoretical Principles of Tibb”. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the philosophy, aetiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment from a Tibb perspective. This reference book is aimed at medical professionals trained in Western medicine, wishing to integrate the principles of Tibb into their current practice. It will most certainly contribute positively to undergraduate students of Unani-Tibb.
In this book Prof Bhikha deals with the question as to whether Tibb is “A Science of Medicine or the Art of Care”. He describes it as a “Science of Medicine” because Tibb is based on the principle of cause and effect as described by Ibn Sina. He highlights that Tibb is indeed the “Art of Care” as Tibb provides guidelines and protocols on health promotion and in the treatment of illnesses taking into account the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of the human being.
The compilation of the book was initiated for the upcoming training of a part-time Postgraduate Diploma to be offered in Athens by the Asklepion School of Tibb, commencing September 2018. An exciting development for the publishing of the book was the offer from Lambert Academic Publishing in Germany to publish and distribute the book internationally – under a separate cover. The book is also available directly from the Institute for the South African market.
The book was reviewed by international experts as listed below:
“The author has made tremendous effort to collate information on Tibb in a systematic manner which will definitely benefit not only health care professionals from Conventional Systems and allied healthcare workers, but also become a handy reference book for practitioners of Tibb (Unani System of Medicine)”. Dr. Ghazala Javed, Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), Government of India
“The work is excellent to put forth the knowledge of this centuries old medical science to the present medical world”. Prof. M M Wamiq Amin, Dean, Faculty of Unani Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University, India
“The book reveals philosophical aspects of Tibb, especially the concept of Tibb and holism, and should be of interest to anyone wanting to explore the history and philosophy of Tibb”. Prof. Hakim Abdul Hannan/Prof. Tasneem Qureshi, Faculty of Eastern Medicine, Hamdard University, Pakistan
“The beauty of this book is that in a concise manner, the basic principles, preclinical and therapeutic information, which was spread over multiple books, has been documented in a single book in well-organized and systematic chapters”. Prof. Shakir Jamil, Jamia Hamdard University, India; Former Director General of the Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine
The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), an autonomous organization under Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India organized an International Conference on Unani Medicine, as part of the celebration of Unani Day. One of the objectives of the conference was to promote the Unani System of medicine globally. In keeping with this theme Prof Bhikha’s presented a paper on “Bringing Unani System of Medicine to the Global Front – a South African Perspective. He reviewed his experience taking into account the opportunities and challenges of introducing Unani medicine in South Africa.
Three MBChB students, Bruchayla Goodwin, Shabnam Zalgaonkir and Zainab Joseph, completed their elective at the Tibb Treatment Centres, located in Langa and Surrey estate. The students were supervised during their elective period by qualified and registered Tibb practitioners. During their four (4) week elective period, the students were introduced to the important concepts in Tibb and given the opportunity to discuss various treatment options.
Stellenbosch MBChB students share their views on Tibb.
“I never knew much about Tibb medicine before embarking on this elective.
The experience at the institute has shown me the value of alternative medicine and the important role it plays in the holistic management of the patient.
There is a lot of care and time given with each consultation. The clinics deal with a variety of patients from various backgrounds. The quote by Hippocrates, “It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has” is well applied in each consultation. The affordability of care and quality of service provided by the Tibb practitioners are excellent.
Overall, this elective has challenged the traditional view from what we are taught during medical school and broadened my perspective of alternative medicine.”
Bruchayla Goodwin, MBChB IV
“After just four weeks of exposure at the Tibb Treatment Centre, my understanding of complementary medicine has changed greatly. Tibb medicine focuses on health promotion by supporting the body’s inherent healing abilities. It is a holistic approach in that it looks at “treating the patient as a whole”, rather than a particular disease.
During the consultation at Tibb, the practitioner includes a temperamental assessment in addition to the normal consultation method. The temperament system was something that was hard for me to grasp at first. But during the consultations I’ve witnessed, its validity. The system looks at the same patient/case from a different perspective and therefore is excellent in fine-tuning diagnosis and treatment options.
Contradictory to what I’ve heard previously, the practice of complementary medicine does not exclude modern medicine. In fact they built on it. It is part of their study course to learn about modern medicine, criteria for diagnosis and modern medicine treatment. Furthermore, they do refer cases that need a more aggressive treatment. I think it is important for health professions to be informed about Tibb’s scope of practice, so that more may refer to them and thus ensure the best possible patient health outcomes.
One of the advantages that Tibb medicine has is that it is all natural. Tibb medication is safe to use for all ages. In addition to this, I think it plays an important role for the future health of the public. With the rising resistance to antibiotics, antibiotic stewardship, and no new developments in antibiotic medication, public healthcare will be hugely dependent on phyto-pharmacology and complementary medicine in the nearby future.
All in all, my elective at Tibb has been an amazing and eye- opening experience. What adds to Tibb is that its staff and practitioners are truly compassionate, warm, dedicated, and also engaged in continued learning. Tibb medicine is definitely a growing field and is most certainly a tremendous asset to the health of the public.”
Shabnam Zalgaonkir, MBChB IV
The Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran recently invited Prof. Bhikha as a guest speaker at a conference on prophetic medicine. In addition to presenting a paper on “Rationale that underpins the wisdom of Tibb al-Nabawi”, he had the opportunity to meet PhD students conducting research in prophetic medicine. Interestingly Postgraduate students entering this research programme is offered only to medical doctors. Prof Bhikha also provided information on the Institute’s activities with respect to the training of Unani-Tibb doctors in South Africa and offered to assist in the establishment of training Tibb doctors in Iran.
Heideveldt day hospital operates in the Greater Athlone health district and runs Monday to Fridays attending to patients of the surrounding community. Tibb Treatment Centre located in Surrey estate, neighbouring Heidveldt attended the Heideveldt health day session on the 23rd of November 2017.
Moerida Higgins, Clinic Administrator, accompanied by Tibb Practitioners- Drs Yumna Abrahams, Kashiefa Domingo and James Suteka presented to the 17 staff members that attended, which included Dr Imelda Seymour, Sr Briekwa accompanied by the rest of the Heideveldt team.
An overview of Tibb and Tibb concepts such as knowing and understanding your temperament, respecting your physis, Tibb Lifestyle Factors and Tibb therapeutics discussed. Tibb highlighted the importance of the Tibb lifestyle factors and therapeutics as an integral part of treating. The Tibb holistic approach to healthy living sparked lots of interest as the staff members wanted more information on lifestyle advice on various chronic conditions.
Heidveldt day hospital thanked the Tibb Treatment staff for attending and creating awareness of holistic health and the role of lifestyle advising.
Tibb looks forward to hosting future workshops at Heideveldt and other community day hospitals.
On Friday 10th November 2017 Prof Bhikha from the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb and Dr Barrie Oldham from The Centre for Bio-Regulatory Medicine signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to establish the “Asklepion School on Kos”, in Athens for the training of Unani-Tibb, (which literally means “Greek Medicine”). The school will commence in September 2018 with the offering of a Two (2) year part-time Postgraduate Diploma aimed at healthcare professionals with appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic skills. Details of the criteria to enter the programme as well as the structure of the course will be finalised before end December. For more information refer to http://unanitibb.org/school/
After the successful training of City of Joburg’s Ward Based Outreach Teams (WBOT) in Soweto, as Tibb Lifestyle Advisors, Sister Dumsile Dlamini commenced with the training in Roodepoort (Region C), on the 16th October 2017. This training forms part of the arrangement between the Tibb Institute and the Allied Communities Network to train 4000 WBOT’s for the City of Joburg.
This workshop has two primary objectives; Advising clients on health promotion according to the Tibb Six Lifestyle Factors based on the patient’s individual temperament; and secondly, advising patients with various illness conditions including Hypertension, Diabetes, HIV & AIDS and TB on lifestyle changes, empowering patients in effectively managing their condition/s, in health education talks by WBOT’s at various clinics and in surrounding areas. The activities of the WBOT’s are supported with Tibb health education flyers on various conditions available in five different languages.
A remarkable number of Sowetans with varied illness conditions and currently using Tibb Lifestyle Factors to improve their health outcomes gathered at YMCA Orlando East to review progress, and to interact with their Tibb Lifestyle Advisors. These are part of the 150 clients/patients who are participating in the “Care and Support for Improved Patient Outcomes” (CasiPO) research project that is aimed at assessing the role of Tibb Lifestyle Factors in health promotion and in the management of illness conditions mostly lifestyle related; diabetes, hypertension, HIV & AIDS, TB, arthritis among others.
The participants include the elderly who are on customised illness management plans and healthy young people who are on individual health promotion care plans. Reflections at the review workshop revealed positive outcomes from testimonies from those who had already been on Lifestyle care plans. Testimonies revealed an improved Quality of Life as a result of the adoption of Tibb Lifestyle Factors in their daily lives over a period of just less than three months.
The interactive session opened with a video of the testimonies of effectiveness of Tibb Lifestyle Factors in illness management in the eyes of those that have already adopted them. The programme adopting Tibb Lifestyle Factors in dealing with diseases of lifestyle was initiated by the Allied Communities Network-Tibb partnership in 2015, introducing corporative health promotion training work with the City of Johannesburg health promotion unit on lifestyle education for their health promoter’s station at clinics across the city’s seven regions.
Participants had a chance to ask the Tibb nurses and get real-time answers and individual attention. It was clear that community interest in the efficacy of Tibb Lifestyle Factors in the management of their ailments may require a fixed Tibb Lifestyle Case Management clinic in the region going forward.
The CasiPO programme continues and is poised to attract more cases for ailment management through Tibb Lifestyle Factors- judging by the tempo of the participants and their excitement on the efficacy of the intervention, construed as practical effective and affordable.
Professor Bhikha was kept on his toes answering questions on how best to align temperaments to an effective care plan for optimal positive health outcomes.
The CasiPO case studies are continuing in the City of Johannesburg Region D and will culminate in a report that will see provincial government considering Tibb Lifestyle Factors in their community oriented primary care initiatives and the fight against the burden of disease and the quest for effective joint initiatives for disease prevention at primary care level, largely on the ground.
Over the past two years the programme has trained over 108 City of Johannesburg health promoters as Lifestyle Advisors and over 600 Community Health Workers working in Region D’s NGOs as well as over 95 members of the Ward Based Outreach Teams, (WBOT) active in the City of Johannesburg’s regional clinics.
On the 2nd May 2017, Sister Dumsile Dlamini began the Tibb Lifestyle Advisors training of the first group of the 4000 Ward Based Outreach Teams linked to the various clinics in the City of Johburg at Tladi Information Centre in Soweto. The participants’ feedback was very positive with comments such as “informative” and “life changing”.
This workshop has two primary objectives; Advise patients on health promotion according to the Tibb Six Lifestyle Factors based on the patient’s individual temperament; and secondly advising patients on lifestyle changes in the management of various illness conditions including Hypertension, Diabetes, HIV & AIDS and TB.
Following the success of the Allied-Tibb Community Oriented Primary Care programme (COPC) launched in April 2015 and its subsequent renewal and success of its second phase in 2016, the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb has further renewed the partnership for an additional year.
The Care and Support programme for Improved Patient Outcomes (CaSIPO), 2017-2018, is a case study on 600 clients and uses Tibb Lifestyle Factors in preventing illness in healthy clients and in disease management in clients with chronic and common ailments.
The results and data will be used to lobby and promote the use of evidence based efficacy of Tibb Lifestyle Factors in illness prevention and disease management in primary care, home and ward based care settings and in complimenting government efforts in achieving improved Quality of Life and Better Health for All.
The ultimate goal is the implementation of CaSIPO city wide and lobbying for government support of this intervention as a community based primary care intervention to empower communities in taking care of their own health.
The implementation is envisaged through civil society organisations already involved in community health care drives such as HCT, HBC, and hospice care as well as through Ward Based Outreach Teams (WBOT’s).
The following milestones attest to enormous work already made in the past two years towards achieving this goal through this partnership.
2015- Tibb-Allied partnership launched and over 307 Community Health Workers, City of Johannesburg Health Promoters in all Region D clinics and Traditional Healers trained as Tibb Lifestyle Advisors.
2016- Further 109 City of Johannesburg Health Promoters in regional clinics trained from other six regions at the request of the City of Johannesburg’s District Health System-Health Promotion Unit. Seventy-five (75) Community Wellness Clinics (CWC) set up in 75 Allied Communities Network affiliate civil organisations in region D.
Over 125 literature stands holding awareness literature and education information on healing with Tibb, common ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, TB, HIV, diet advice, asthma, backache- inter alia, were distributed at Wellness Clinics and CoJ regional clinics.
Over 6000 clients reached via direct education and health promotion messages at both Wellness clinics and conventional clinics.
Over 23000 clients reached indirectly through community radio and promotional flier distribution.
Fliers is excess of 53000 were used to support the messages.
A notable milestone was the acceptancy and appreciation by the City of Johannesburg’s District Health System Health Promotion department of Tibb’s efficacy and expediency in the City’s health promotion strategy.
This was followed by a request for the extension of the programme to cover the training of over 4200 Ward Based Outreach Teams and their team leaders as Tibb Lifestyle Advisors in 2017-2018, working year.
This culminated in CaSIPO 2017-2018. Allied and Tibb are committed to assisting government in its fight against the burden of disease using evidence based interventions.
To this end, Allied Communities Network is effortlessly lobbying City of Johannesburg health and the Gauteng Provincial Health and Social Development departments to support community organisations already implementing CaSIPO through available conduits for funding civil society programmes complimenting community health, welfare and development.
During the month of February the Institute renewed the annual contracts in the funding of Lifestyle Advisors with the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa. The Gauteng Branch was represented by Dr Yumna Hassim, whereas Sister Honey Allee, Clinic Nursing Director represented the Kwa-Zulu Natal Branch of the IMA. The four (4) Lifestyle Advisors in the Durban Branch are based at the RK Khan Hospital, Malukazi Clinic, Marianhill Clinic and also in the IMA Mobile Primary Health Care Clinic. The Lifestyle Advisor for Gauteng is based in Soweto.
The partnership between the Institute and IMA, which commenced in 2010, has facilitated the Institute’s objective of promoting the practice of Tibb medicine in health promotion and illness management. The Lifestyle Advisors devote their time to educate the community on the Tibb lifestyle factors in healthy living and in the management and treatment of both acute and chronic conditions such as, Cold & Flu’s, Backache, Hypertension, Diabetes, HIV & AIDS and Tuberculosis. The activities of the Lifestyle Advisors are supported with health education material in 5 different languages, with more than 5000 flyers distributed monthly.
During the 9th and 11th January 2017, Prof Rashid Bhikha participated in the 4th Hamdard International Conference in Unani Medicine that was held in Karachi, Pakistan at Hamdard University. The theme of the conference “Unani Medicine Past, Present and Future” had invited speakers from more than twenty different countries representing universities, Institutions of both Conventional and Complementary medicine as well as representatives from Ministries of Health and Education. The presentations aspects including:
Scientific validation of philosophies of Unani Medicine; and Clinical trials on Unani Medicine-based formulations. Prof Bhikha’s presentation provided an overview of Unani-Tibb in South Africa and acknowledged the contribution of Hamdard University Pakistan and the late Shaheed Hakim Mohammad Said. The presentation was well received by participants from other countries who are keen to collaborate with the Institute in the training of Tibb medicine in their respective countries.
On the 12th January, Prof Dr Hakim Abdul Hannan, Vice Chancellor Hamdard University extended Prof Bhikha’s honorary professorship with Hamdard University. This ceremony took place after Prof Bhikha delivered a series of lectures to the Academic staff and students of the Faculty of Eastern Medicine at Hamdard University which included “Application of the humoral theory in clinical practice”; “Critique on Anatomy as described in the Canon of Medicine” and “Unani-Tibb in South African: Challenges and Opportunities”. The visit to Hamdard Pakistan was one of the many visits over the past two decades in keeping with a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between the Institute and Hamdard University to promote the practice and training of Unani-Tibb in South Africa.
Lecturer and Tibb practitioner Dr Faeeza Abudalltief from the University of the Western Cape accompanied Professor Addo and his 30 students from Drew University to the Tibb Treatment Centres in Cape Town.
The Drew University students visits were based on an experiential learning initiative allowing the student to study and grow by understanding and respecting various cultures which includes field based learning in collaboration with local experts and institutions such as UWC and the Tibb Treatment Centres.
These students wanted to learn more about the Holistic treatment approach that South Africans have adopted and establish whether there would be an impact on Quality of Life. Dr Faeeza provided students with a presentation on an overview of Tibb including the course structure offered at the School of Natural Medicine at UWC.
Tibb practitioner, Dr Yumna Abrahams based at the Tibb Treatment Centre provided the students with a tour of the clinic followed by cupping therapy demonstrations. Students found the cupping practical very fascinating and were eager to participate as cupping had become very popular after the recent Olympic athlete, Micheal Phelps’s show cased his cupping spots.
Professor Addo and his students expressed their gratitude to the Tibb Treatment Centre for hosting the visiting students and look forward to future endeavours.
MBChB 4th year student, Tazwin Geldenhuis, from the University of Stellenbosch, spent four weeks at the Tibb Treatment Centres, located in Langa and Surrey Estate, completing his elective in November 2016.
Tibb practitioner, Dr James Suteka, supervised Tazwin during his 4 week elective introducing him to Tibb. Tazwin learned about temperaments, the benefits and application of cupping therapy and the importance of Tibb lifestyle advising in managing patients.
Tazwin looks forward to integrative healthcare with the Tibb approach.
Tazwin Geldenhuis, enthusiastically shares his views on Tibb:
“Having never really been exposed to any alternative form of medicine, Tibb was a first for me. Before my elective I was under the impression that alternative medicine and conventional medicine were two polar opposite versions of medicine. However this was not the case. The medication and the philosophy may differ but there lies a strong underlying similarity between the two. This likeness can be attributed to the shared origin of medicine as a whole.
In my four weeks rotating between Tibb treatment centres in Langa and Saartjie Baartman. I have come to learn about the management and treatment of patients in Tibb. The approach to patients is an outstanding feature in Tibb. Patients are classed within four categories based on their physical features as well as their personality. Namely the muscular and cheerful sanguineous, the fat and bashful phlegmatic, the lean and short-tempered bilious and the skinny and anxious melancholic. I am personally categorized as having a sanguineous dominant temperament with a phlegmatic subdominant temperament. From this information we can ascertain health risk factors.
I came across some sceptics that do not trust conventional medicine, those who felt they had been let down by the system. However, the majority of patients I had come across rely on both conventional therapy as well as Tibb as a form of complementary treatment and are referred accordingly.
Patients feel comfortable receiving medical treatment at Tibb which may sometimes include getting massage therapy or cupping therapy, in a quiet, calming and serine environment. In fact there are patients who would rather book for massage therapy or cupping therapy at a Tibb treatment centre than a spa due to the both the high quality of care and affordability.
I have also learned that Tibb prides itself in its holistic management of its patients. This often includes diet, physical exercise, sleep, elimination etc. Where dispensation of medication may be limited, Tibb makes up for by actively listening to the patients’ needs and working around obstacles. Tibb offers an affordable and functioning health system which may offer relief to the governmental health system that is overburdened and understaffed.”
These participants, Health Promoters and Team Leaders, are based in clinics in the various regions of the City of Johannesburg’s Department of Health. Included as speakers at this ceremony was Ms Jabulile Rakosa (Director: DHS unit) who graciously opened up the proceedings, Ms Sara Daas (Deputy Director COJ) the programme director, and Mr Tebogo Motsepe (RHDD region C) who offered a vote of thanks to the participants, Prof Rashid Bhikha and Mr Alcon Dube. Mr Peter Mphahlele, a health promoter based in region C, who also presented a short speech, commented that “…temperament is a turning point in how we offer health advice. It is no longer generic.
Health education is now specific according to the temperament of the person…”. The Institute of Tibb is excited about and welcomes the growing partnerships between the City of Johanessburg and Allied Communities Network to create better health for all South Africans.
Prof Rashid Bhikha, and associates – Drs Mujeeb Hoosen and Wendy Staak, from the University of the Western Cape, were invited by the National Institute of Unani Medicine (NIUM), Bengaluru, to attend and present papers at the International Conference of Unani Medicine. The NIUM serves as a model for academic excellence, pioneer for research frontiers in Unani Medicine and is an example for perfect patient care. The objectives of the international conference was to review the status of Unani medicine, exploring research frontiers that need to be prioritised along with better teaching and learning methods suitable for the Unani system of medicine.
Professor Rashid Bhikha conducted his presentation on the “Treatment of humoral imbalances at a cellular/sub-cellular level” during the opening session of the conference. The presentation is based on research conducted on identifying and eliminating the excess/abnormal humours using herbal infusions and where necessary other therapeutic interventions such as cupping and massage therapy, thereby restoring homeostasis. In addition special emphasis was placed on the elimination of excess/abnormal humours via the colon and the kidneys.
In addition to Prof Rashid Bhikha’s presentation, he received an award for his contribution to Unani medicine. He is deemed the “Hippocrates of Unani-Tibb in South Africa”.
Congratulations to Prof Rashid Bhikha on receiving this auspicious and well-deserved award.