The power of integrating indigenous medicine into our health system

Can indigenous medicine play a role in rebuilding health systems?

Conflicts do not spare health systems.

From Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the effects that wars and state fragility have on health care provisions are all too visible.

This is why revamping the systems that provide health care in post-conflict settings is a top priority for the international aid community and governments.

Lecturer at the Centre of African Studies in the School of Social and Political Science at University of Edinburgh Dr Jean-Benoît Falisse released a paper that says indigenous medicine can play a role in the western health system.

READ:South African indigenous plant (Geelbos) could help in cancer treatment

What sort of struck us was that we are missing the obvious. People in their day to day health care seeking behaviour are going to indigenous healers, they are going to traditional healers.

Dr. Jean-Benoît Falisse, Lecturer at University of Edinburgh

So what we are trying to do here is simply to look at health care seeking behaviours as they are happening. And this should include traditional medicine because this is what people use.

Dr. Jean-Benoît Falisse, Lecturer at University of Edinburgh

He adds that the key is to start from indigenous medicine than to start from the western high-income country health system.

He also says that part of the idea of the paper is that they have remedies for a series of illnesses that have been in these indigenous communities for a while.

So a way to ease the burden on the health system could be to think about these remedies to reduce illnesses.

Dr. Jean-Benoît Falisse, Lecturer at University of Edinburgh

Listen below to hear why indigenous medicine could play a role in western healthcare systems...


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : The power of integrating indigenous medicine into our health system


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