Investigating the challenges and benefits of traditional medicine: Case study Tanzania

Dunn, Shaun Bradley Adrian (2017-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Traditional medicine is widely used across the world. In developing countries, it plays an integral role in the culture and way of life of both traditional communities and those living in urban settings. In developed countries, traditional medicine has renewed appeal due to discontent with western medicine. However, traditional medicine is experiencing numerous challenges. This study was conducted in Tanzania and aimed to understand the challenges to and benefits of traditional medicine in an East African setting. A qualitative approach was taken, exploring the existing literature to understand the challenges and benefits, and then conducting empirical research via a case study, to explore the lived experiences of these challenges and benefits in Tanzania. Interviews were conducted with eleven traditional healers in Dar es Salaam and the Manyara region, as well as two experts from a university setting. These findings were thematically analysed. This study found that traditional medicine plays a key role in the lives of Tanzanian people. It is widely used as it is more accessible than conventional healthcare; it provides livelihoods for many; retains strong links to culture, and its medicines have other benefits for the body. The sector is poorly regulated, with very little government support provided to healers. Plant resources are increasingly threatened and biopiracy already occurs. Programmes seeking to strengthen traditional medicine should focus on protecting biodiversity for future use, and finding ways to commercialise traditional medicine to take advantage of the increased global demand, while sharing benefits with those communities who developed the knowledge.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tradisionele medisyne word algemeen regoor die wêreld gebruik. In ontwikkelende lande, speel dit 'n integrale rol in die kultuur en leefwyse van beide tradisionele gemeenskappe en diegene wat in stedelike gebiede woon. In ontwikkelde lande, het tradisionele medisyne appèl hernu as gevolg van ontevredenheid met Westerse medisyne. Tradisionele medisyne ondervind egter talle uitdagings. Hierdie studie is uitgevoer in Tanzanië en is daarop gemik om die uitdagings en voordele van tradisionele medisyne in 'n Oos-Afrikaanse omgewing te verstaan. 'n Kwalitatiewe benadering is geneem wat die bestaande literatuur verken om die uitdagings en voordele te verstaan en daarna is empiriese navorsing uitgevoer deur 'n gevallestudie, om die geleefde ervarings van hierdie uitdagings en voordele in Tanzanië te verken. Onderhoude is gevoer met elf tradisionele genesers in Dar es Salaam en die streek Manyara, asook twee kundiges van 'n universiteit instelling. Hierdie bevindings is tematies ontleed. Hierdie studie het bevind dat tradisionele medisyne 'n belangrike rol in die lewens van Tanzaniese mense speel. Dit word algemeen gebruik omdat dit meer toeganklik is as konvensionele gesondheidsorg; dit bied lewensbestaan vir baie; behou sterk bande met kultuur en die medisyne het ander voordele vir die liggaam. Die sektor word swak gereguleer met baie min regering ondersteuning aan genesers. Plant hulpbronne word toenemend bedreig en biopiracy vind reeds plaas. Programme wat tradisionele medisyne wil versterk moet fokus op die beskerming van biodiversiteit vir toekomstige gebruik, en om maniere te vind om tradisionele medisyne te kommersialiseer om voordeel te trek uit die verhoogde globale vraag, terwyl die voordele gedeel word met dié gemeenskappe wat die kennis ontwikkel het.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100883
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