SIRMIP

Swaziland Institute for Research in Traditional Medicine, Medicinal and Indigenous Food Plants (SIRMIP)

Background

Swaziland is endowed with a very diversified flora which may be attributed to the range of geographical and climatic zones in the country. She is one of the African countries where the overall plant diversity is at the highest level. Species include plants used by traditional medicinal practitioners (TMPs), plants with proven activity against pests and those with potential as pharmaceuticals and fragrances, as well as edible wild plants.

Many of the edible wild plants and species used in traditional medicine are threatened with extinction because of unsustainable harvesting and great pressure on land for growing cash crops. There is also no adequate documentation of the indigenous knowledge on plant use in the country. The Institute has been established to address these issues. The Institute provides a forum for the meeting of TMPs, orthodox medical practitioners, natural and social scientists, lawyers, agriculturists, nutritionists and policy makers to tackle multifaceted research agenda inherent in nutrition and traditional medicine. The facilities of the Institute will be available for scholars from different parts of the world to carryout research and disseminate their results for human benefit. The multidisciplinary research programme would lead to the development of standardised, safe indigenous medicine from our flora, thus reducing imports on such products.

Mission

The Institute seeks to serve as Swaziland’s leading institution for the design, coordination and execution of multidisciplinary research in traditional medicine, medicinal and indigenous wild edible plants. It strives to combine the expertise of scientists and Traditional Medical Practitioners (TMPs), with a view to producing plant-derived pharmaceuticals and promoting the use of traditional medicine in national health care. It also seeks to raise general awareness regarding the nutritional value of underutilized indigenous wild edible plants.

Objectives

The objectives of the Institute are to:

  • Promote ethnobotanical surveys for indigenous noncultivated fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants in order to establish and maintain a database.
  • Document available bioresources and their technological exploitation.
  • Provide a forum for the meeting of researchers on medicinal and food plants with nutritionists and traditional medical practitioners (TMPs) in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
  • Collect seeds of under-utilized indigenous fruits and vegetables to form a gene bank which could be used to broaden the food base.
  • Propagate food and medicinal plants in order to conserve biological diversity.
  • Bioassay medicinal and indigenous food plants.
  • Isolate and identify bioactive compounds from plants.
  • Develop isolated compounds into new drugs for the treatment of common diseases. 
  • Organize workshops and seminars.

Staff

The work of the Institute is carried out by full time researchers, technical and administrative staff appointed to the Institute as well as by lecturers in the related faculties of the University of Swaziland or researchers in the research institutes who have interests falling within the areas of ongoing research in the Institute (i.e. Research Affiliates). A Research Affiliate is a person having an approved research project, in progress, with the Institute whether as the sole researcher or as part of a team. The privileges of a research affiliate are also extended to people who officially assist the Institute in an advisory capacity.

Director Prof. P.S. Dlamini
Research Staff  
Research Fellow in Phytochemistry Vacant
Research Fellow in Pharmacology Ms. G.F. Sibandze
Research Fellow in Plant Systematics Mr. M.N. Dludlu
Research Fellow in Agronomy Dr. C.S. Dlamini
Support staff  
Technologist Mr. V. Vilane
Secretary Ms. S.Z. Dlamini
Laboratory Attendant Mr. G. Mavuso
Gardeners Mr. E. Simelane
Mr. V. Dlamini
Mr. W. Fakudze

 

Advisory Board

The Institute is in the process of establishing an Advisory Board which shall consist of representatives from our stakeholders.

Technical Advisory Committee

The technical advisory committee is composed of the following members:

The Director of the Institute (Chairperson)
SIRMIP’s Research staff,
Representatives from Faculties and Departments,
Representatives from Stakeholder Organizations

 
Constact Us

Swaziland Institute for Research in Traditional Medicine,
Medicinal and Indigenous Food Plants
Private Bag 4
Kwaluseni
Swaziland

Tel: (+268) 518 4011, 518 6816
Fax: (+268) 518 5276

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