Soon after the establishment of the academic training of Tibb in South Africa, the Institute established Tibb Treatment Centres in Langa and the Saartjie Baartman Centre in Cape Town. These clinics were initially meant to facilitate the practical aspect of learning for students in both the Undergraduate and Postgraduate training of Unani-Tibb doctors at the School of Natural Medicine, University of the Western Cape. Today, they are an integral part of the communities they serve, providing effective, affordable treatment with Tibb as the focus.
Under the expertise of committed Tibb doctor, Dr Yumna Abrahams who has treated thousands pf patients since 2011, and Moerida Higgins who skilfully manages administration, both treatment centres assist close to 17 000 patients anually. Furthermore, comprehensive treatment and medical care is provided through subsidised fees, making the Tibb Treatment Centres a vital player in health provision in suburbs where unemployment is rife and the need for treatment incumbent.
A wide variety of conditions are managed on a daily basis focusing on acute and common chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes hypercholesterolemia, eczema, backache, arthritis and respiratory related conditions. These conditions are managed entirely through the Tibb approach which makes the centres the first of their kind in Southern Africa. Consultations include the Tibb approach of individual care, temperament evaluation, cupping, therapeutic massage, lifestyle advice and herbal medication.
Furthermore, Consumer Talks are presented regularly and free of charge at both clinics, covering topics such as Hypertension, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, HIV & AIDS and Arthritis. These lifestyle aimed workshops are part of Tibb’s mission to to empower individuals to better manage illnesses through appropriate lifestyle changes. A wide variety of information flyers and Tibb videos are also used to educate patients prior to their consultation
Of the two clinics, the Saartjie Baartman Treatment Centre, which was officially opened on the 17th July 2008, by the then Premier of the Western Cape, Ebrahim Rasool, is sought after by people throughout the country as a clinic committed to holistic health. The Centre is in partnership with numerous NGO’S and Community Day hospitals in the surroundings areas and those affiliated to the adjacent ‘Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children’ shelter. As part of the alliance, the Centre provides free consultations and medication for all residents of the shelter.
To increase awareness of Tibb, ongoing marketing campaigns, workshops and school visits are regularly conducted at various institutions and community organisations such as Heideveldt Day Hospital, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Carehaven Womens Shelter and Northwood Diabetes Support Group.
The Tibb treatment centres have also been used for extensive and ongoing research where, with patients’ consent, treatment is monitored through the use of Tibb treatment protocols, lifestyle adjuvants and eliminative therapies.
Aside from the intake of Tibb students wishing to gain practical experience in Tibb, the centres also attract a wide array of medical students from local and international universities. In addition, medical students from the University of Stellenbosh have also been completing their elective training at the centre.