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20.12.2014

Traditional healers in kenya, alternative medicine md murfreesboro tn - PDF Review

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He told the BBC that beating people on the head in the name of exorcising demons or placing hot objects on the body of the patient were common procedures used by some traditional healers. They are ubiquitous to almost every bustling urban African city, little signs advertising the services of a powerful herbalist, healer, native doctor or astrologist. Medicines prepared by the traditional Yoruba herbalists involve the use of roots and herbs, along with the odd incantation and ritual. Nonetheless, traditional medicine remains popular, especially among Africans who live in regions that are far removed from pharmacies and hospitals (although claims about the majority using traditional medicine should be taken with a pinch of salt). Speaking with some of my extended family members who routinely consume traditional herbal mixtures we call agbo, the general consensus is that herbal medicine can cleanse the system and that it really works. Kenyans on Twitter are seldom a group to be trifled with, using their immense power for good or evil.
Yet that is what has been happening in places like Kenya.Traditional healers offering inhumane treatments have been shunned by doctors championing a biomedical system.
More seriously, he says, other procedures have included lobotomies.Daniel has been working with a group of witch doctors and faith healers in Kenya over the past three years, educating them in patient protection and human rights. And giving patients the option of seeking traditional help can prove beneficial.Dr Mutheru suggests that one condition suitable for traditional help is conversion disorder, once more-commonly known as hysteria. Among the Yoruba, for example, traditional philosophy views illness and disease as something connected to spirits, witches, wizards or ancestors, and these spirits are present in every animate and inanimate object or being. Nonetheless to dismiss traditional medicine or this pre-colonial, indigenous African philosophy as mere superstition would be presumptuous.


As read above, traditional medicine in its purest form is concerned with disease and healing.
And these days many traditional herbalists claim to bring about wealth and riches, love and success as though the lack of any of these things is itself a genuine disease.
Clearly, with countless quack healers handing out fake herbal remedies that can blind or kill – and generating prejudice against all traditional herbalists in the process – the industry is in desperate need of regulation. The only African country I know of that has moved to regularise traditional medicine is Kenya where the Kilifi County Assembly is set to introduce a motion that, if passed, will see traditional healers vetted and issued with licenses. There have been times when we have simply been picking a fight, says Kagure Mugo, but in the case of Jadudi the fight was against brain cancer and Kenyans online helped to save a life in 140 characters and 6 million shillings. But now healers are being recognised as a valuable resource in countries where both hospitals and psychiatrists are scarce.Training Traditional HealersDaniel Gichohi, a trainer with Basic Needs, an international development charity focussed on mental health issues, has witnessed first-hand patients being whipped, tethered by a rope, or chained up. He also provides training in how to identify mental health problems and which patients should be referred to psychiatrists.But encouraging traditional healers to work with psychiatrists is not a one-way street.
In Yoruba traditional medicine today you will find specialists in bone setting, paediatric care, general medicine, stroke, hypertension and more. This is a step in the right direction – vetting traditional healers should reduce the number of quack doctors and the cheats, and removing the criminal element should help people of the popular image of traditional healers as evil witchdoctors. Yoruba traditional medicine also places importance on the use of water, either taken plain or mixed with herbs and tree barks. Thus it is no surprise to read of a so-called traditional herbalist defrauding desperate jobseekers of N510,000 ($3114).


For some Africans, traditional herbs are the only form of medicine they know from birth to death.
Sometimes you believe in both."She believes that incorporating cultural beliefs into psychiatric care is important and she has, like Dr Mutheru, allowed her patients to also see traditional healers.
Nollywood movies, too, tend to portray traditional herbalists in a negative light; there are always babas and dibias using black magic to help people with spells and charms that always backfire but can be controlled with a vigorous bout of Christian prayer.
She sometimes refers patients she sees in her medical practice to traditional healers and thinks that particular types of mental distress might be especially suitable for treatment with traditional approaches. She refers patients undergoing biomedical treatments to healers when they feel that they need "cleansing" or additional reassurance. Granted one should be suspicious of anyone who claims to guarantee wealth coming your way after performing certain rituals but there is more to traditional medicine than superstition. I once caught a documentary about a student from Benin studying traditional medicine at a university in Japan, and I know there are other students from other African countries specialising in the same subjects at universities in China. But, she emphasises, they should continue to taking their prescribed medication whilst they see traditional healers.



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