Friday, 25 March 2011

Uganda Government bans reflexology

FIRST READ: Ugandan Christians are not sensitised about reflexology

Government bans reflexology

The Monitor,Friday, March 25 2011

The government has ordered the closure of all reflexology centres in the country until further notice. Addressing journalists at the Media Centre in Kampala yesterday, the Health Minister, Dr Stephen Mallinga, also directed KCC and other urban councils to stop licensing reflexology clinics forthwith.

“The law enforcement agencies are hereby directed to take appropriate action where anybody breaches this directive,” he said.
Dr Mallinga said the ministry’s attention was drawn to the issue by the sustained and aggressive advertisements on nearly all print and electronic media in Kampala and other upcountry towns by those offering complimentary medicine, especially reflexology.

The art

“The group holds frequent radio and televisions programmes where they discuss issues in such a way that gives the impression that theirs is a far more superior advance to conventional medicine,” he said. “Many unsuspecting people could have been misled by this unfortunate development.”

Reflexology is an ancient physical technique of applying pressure to reflex points of the feet and hands with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion.

Dr Mallinga said reflexology should not be relied on for medical help. “Available literature clearly advises that reflexology is limited to complementing medicine as an adjunct to medical treatment and not a replacement for it,” said the minister.

Lack of training

Dr Mallinga added that even where reflexology is offered as complimenting medicine, most of those providing the service have not received formal training.
“In countries where reflexology is appropriately practiced, training in reflexology takes at least one year leading to an award of a diploma,” he said.

The minister said a survey carried out in and around Kampala in March 2010 by the joint professional council of the Ministry of Health, found that reflexology centres were being managed by people who had not attained any formal training in the art.
Currently, there is no accredited reflexology training school in the country.
Dr Mallinga said the survey found that practitioners of reflexology use medical diagnostic tools and carry out medical investigations which they have no formal knowledge to do.

“The reflexology practitioners claim to treat all ailments including cancers, a misinformation which delays patients seeking appropriate medical care, subsequently leading to avoidable complications and sometimes death,” he said.

Dr Mallinga said all qualified health practitioners must have valid annual practising licences. He advised patients to seek medical help if they have an urgent problem.