Document Detail

Is there a role for traditional medicine in basic health services in Africa? A plea for a community perspective.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9315049     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Traditional medicine in Africa is contrasted with biomedicine. Most traditional medical theories have a social and religious character and emphasize prevention and holistic features. Traditional medical practices are usually characterized by the healer's personal involvement, by secrecy and a reward system. Biomedical theory and practice show an almost opposite picture: asocial, irreligious, curative and organ-directed; professional detachment, public knowledge and-until recently-'free of charge'. It is suggested that local communities do not expect that basic health care will improve when traditional healers become integrated into the service. They ask instead for improvement of basic health care itself: more services with better access, more dedication and respect from doctors and nurses, more medicines and personnel. Fieldwork needs to be done at the community level to arrive at a better understanding and assessment of the community's opinion concerning a possible role of traditional medicine in basic health care.
S van der Geest
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH     Volume:  2     ISSN:  1360-2276     ISO Abbreviation:  Trop. Med. Int. Health     Publication Date:  1997 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-10-23     Completed Date:  1997-10-23     Revised Date:  2006-11-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9610576     Medline TA:  Trop Med Int Health     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  903-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
Medical Anthropology Unit, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Community Networks
Cooperative Behavior
Delivery of Health Care / methods*
Health Education
Medicine, African Traditional*
Comment In:
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Aug 22;100(1-2):3-4   [PMID:  15996843 ]

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