In this paper a comparing of Western medical specialties and African traditional medical specialties shall be made. The intent of this paper is to place similarities and differences between Western and African constructs of diseases, remedy and effectual patient attention.
Harmonizing to Germov ( 2007, p. 8 ) Western Medicine is “ the conventional attack to medicate in western societies, based on the diagnosing and account of unwellness as a mulfunction of the organic structure ‘s biological mechanisms. ” It encompasses a scope of wellness attention patterns evolved to keep and reconstruct wellness by the bar and intervention of unwellness Hewson ( 1998 ) . WHO defines Traditional medical specialty as “ the sum sum of cognition, accomplishments and patterns based on theories, beliefs and experiences autochthonal to different civilizations that are used to keep wellness, every bit good as to forestall, name, better or handle physical and mental unwellnesss ” .
Traditional medical specialty that has been adopted by other populations outside its ain civilization is frequently termed alternate or complementary medical specialty ( WHO, 2008 ) .
Helwig ( 2005 ) claimed that primary therapists in traditional African medical specialty are accoucheuses, herb doctor and diviners. Diviners focus on the root causes of illness by the hereditary liquors ( Helwig, 2005 ) . Midwifes use herbs and local workss to help with gestation and childbearing ( Helwig, 20005 ) . Herbalists use carnal, workss and mineral based medical specialties to bring around diseases ( Helwig, 2005 ) . Herb market and herb trading is a really common pattern in many African states ( Helwig, 2005 ) .
Harmonizing to Okpako ( 2006 ) traditional African communities have three chief groups of workss they use to bring around serious unwellnesss, toxicant workss and workss for minor unwellnesss. Plants used for minor unwellnesss treat unwellnesss such as concerns ; contusions and hurting febrility are used without audience of religious therapists ( Okpako, 2006 ) . Plants used for serious unwellnesss are used when covering with life endangering unwellnesss and need the intercession of religious therapists, what the patient gets is holistic intervention ( Okpako, 2006 ) .
Okpako ( 2006 ) stated that as for the toxicant workss, many African communities recognise it merely from experience with it or from inadvertent toxic condition. Okpako ( 2006 ) claimed that in most African states, many people western medical specialties are out of their range as they do non hold money to purchase the drugs and so they resort to traditional medical specialty is it inexpensive.
Traditional African medical specialty is based on accrued experience of antediluvian Africans ( Okpako, 2006 ) . Traditional African medical specialty ‘s manner of transmittal is spread by word of oral cavity and has hindered exigency of a by and large accepted theory and hence of the systematic development of traditional African medical specialty as a self-acting profession ( Okpako, 2006 ) .
Traditional African medical specialty practicians are therapists who believe that their methods can bring around many conditions including malignant neoplastic disease, AIDS, mental jobs, sterility, some sexually transmitted diseases, lesions and Burnss every bit good as many other complaints and conditions ( Helwig, 2005 )
Good wellness is linked to a right relationship between people and their supernatural environment ( Helwig, 2005 ) . Harmonizing to Helwig ( 2005 ) among the traditional therapists, being able to name an unwellness is considered a gift from both God and the ascendants. Helwig claimed that “ a major accent is placed on finding the root cause underlying any illness or bad fortune ” . Illness is said to stem from deficiency of balance between the patient and his or her environment, ( Helwig, 2005 ) Diviners may utilize workss non merely for mending intents but besides to command conditions and events, ( Helwig, 2005 ) . Helwig ( 2005 ) stated that “ in add-on to workss, traditional African therapists may use appeals, conjurations and casting of enchantments ” . They are besides skilled in psychotherapeutics and guidance ( Helwig, 2005 ) .
African mending systems recognise the influence of the head on the human well being ( Helwig, 2005 ) . They recognise the negative emotions such as fright, guilt and hatred can take to illness ( Helwig, 2005 ) . Rituals are undertaken to pacify the enraged hereditary liquors, patients need to do confessions in order for the liquors to forgive them and be good ( Helwig, 2005 ) . The rites attach toing the usage of herbal medical specialty is referred to as “ conjuration ” .
Incantation is a aggregation of carefully chosen words used to convey mending consequence or deciding emotional struggle in the head of the patient ( Helwig, 2005 ) . Liquors of the ascendants protect their life posterities, nevertheless ascendants demand from their descendent ‘s rigorous attachment to the moral Torahs laid down ( Helwig, 2005 ) . An immoral act for illustration incest is believed to rag the liquors ensuing in serious unwellness or bad luck ( Helwig, 2005 ) .
Harmonizing to WHO, 80 % of the African population depends on traditional medical specialty for primary wellness attention. In Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Zambia, 60 % of kids with high febrility ensuing from malaria usage herbal medical specialty at place. Lovell ( 2009 ) claimed that persons enduring from hurting, anxiousness, depression, concerns and weariness usage alternate medical specialty. WHO estimates that several African states pattern traditional birth with the aid of traditional accoucheuses who uses autochthonal workss to help childbearing.
WHO ( 2008 ) claimed that 70 % to 80 % of the population in western states has used some signifier of alternate or complementary medical specialty for illustration stylostixis.
As noted by Germov ( 2007 ) there are varied grounds why alternate medical specialty is so popular at the disbursal of western medical specialty. When people get ill they need to cognize the causes of the unwellness, enduring or even decease ( Germov, 2007 ) . In Western medical specialty, the traditional position that unwellness was caused by religious immorality is no longer valid. Alternate medical specialty that have an account to causes of unwellnesss and enduring have a greater entreaty ( Germov, 2007 ) .
The desire to accomplish a more holistic signifier of attention may be a motivative factor as to why patients choose traditional medical specialty ( Lovell, 2009 ) .
In most African states, drugs are out of range to many people as they do non hold the money to purchase them. The lone solution available is to fall back to traditional medical specialty as it is inexpensive and dependable ( Okpako, 2006 ) .
Most African people are so disbelieving to seek western medical specialty. The chief ground is that they are afraid to seek something new and prefer to go on utilizing their old manner of seeking medical aid that is the usage of traditional medical specialty ( Okpako, 2006 ) .
As stated by Germov ( 2007 ) people have lost trust in western medical specialty. Many toxins found in the drugs have drove people off from the usage of it. Peoples have besides lost trust in scientific experts, they blame them on about all the environmental jobs such as planetary heating, oil spills and even acerb rain ( Germov, 2007 ) .
Germov ( 2007 ) claimed that there is a good relationship between ‘personal ‘ therapist and patient. Personal therapists take their clip to listen and supply seamster made intervention to the single client. By so making they create a strong bond which can take up to swear and trueness.
Wilcox & A ; Bodeker ( 2004 ) reported that in most African states the rise in drug oppositions and jobs in accessing effectual anti -malarial drugs in both distant and underprivileged countries has forced people to fall back to traditional medical specialty as their beginning of intervention.
As noted by Marlise ( 2004 ) clash is apparent between western medical specialties that look at stuff causing to understand and handle an unwellness and traditional medical specialty that by and large looks towards the religious beginning such as witchery and displeasure by ascendants in order to bring around an complaint. Harmonizing to Marlise ( 2004 ) there has been media studies of traditional therapists claiming to hold a remedy for AIDS and subject their patients to unsafe or uneffective interventions.
Marlise ( 2004 ) stated that amongst some people in Africa, it is believed that if a ill individual does non acquire intervention and dies, his or her spirit will do more diseases. Harmonizing to Marlise ( 2004 ) a figure of traditional therapists have seen a moneymaking chance of bring arounding people populating with HIV/AIDS in the absence of biomedicine and a figure of developing states do non hold entree to anti-retroviral medicine or equal wellness attention to those populating with HIV/AIDS.
The WHO describes the jobs related to clinical informations on traditional medical specialty as steming from the hapless quality of informations and besides the methodological analysis used as being below the stipulated criterion.
WHO ( 2008 ) claimed that traditional therapists need to advance both their published and unpublished informations inorder for them to derive support from the whole universe.
Lovell ( 2009 ) stated that the spread between western medical specialty and traditional medical specialty practicians is increasing. As stated by Lovell, “ traditional therapists do non believe that their patterns are guaranteed worldwide and their statement is that the efficaciousness of their merchandise has stood the trial of clip ” .
All in all the usage of western and African traditional medical specialty depends on an person ‘s beliefs and civilization. It besides depends on the handiness of financess to seek intervention. In Africa most people can non afford to beginning western medical specialty chiefly because it is really expensive and so they resort to their traditional medicine chiefly because it is cheaper. Precautions need to be taken carefully as there are a batch of side effects associated with the continued usage of traditional medical specialty. Some of the side effects might take to paroxysms or even decease.