Traditional healers as a foundation pillar of medicinal plant conservation in Uganda.
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- Master's theses (INA) 
Traditional knowledge (TK) and medicinal plants (MPs) play an important role in Uganda and in Africa in general. It has been estimated that nearly 80% of the population relies on MPs. It is also believed that traditional knowledge has a prominent position by being the base of an inexpensive health service system especially in rural areas, conservation of MPs is therefore crucial, especially for rural populations with no access to modern medicine and facilities. Information about MPs, traditional healers (THs) and TK was collected through semistructured interviews of traditional healers in Jinja and Mpigi districts of Uganda. A total of 258 species of medicinal plants were reported, but only 28 species were the same in both districts. Leaves were the most common plant part harvested in both districts and most of the MPs were herbs. The most frequently mentioned MP was Vernonia amygdalina in Jinja (18 times) and Piptadeniastrum africana in Mpigi (20 times). Most healers (85%) conserved at least 50% of the MPs they classified as most important. Planting was the most prominent method of conservation. Traditional healers are an active group of community members trained both by family/fellow healers and NGOs and are the keepers of valuable information and knowledge about MPs. Traditional healers were aware of the global decline in biodiversity in general and expressed willingness and interest for more information and training. Facilitated courses and practical training including embedding of western terminology and methods in traditional knowledge might be the element necessary for TK to keep up and survive in a competitive globalized modern world.