Challenges Of African Traditional Healing System: Implication For The Development Of Indigenous Psychotherapy

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Abstract

Traditional medicine is the sum total of knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories,
beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures that are used to maintain health, as
well as to prevent, diagnose, improve or treat physical and mental illnesses. This paper
explores the challenges of African traditional healing system and the implications for the
development of indigenous psychotherapy. Previous studies show that about 80% of the
population in Asian, African and some developed countries depend on traditional medicine
for primary health care. Rate of acceptability, use, confidence in and efficacy of traditional
healing system is increasing in Nigeria. Some indigenous traditional healing methods include
herbalism, therapeutic dieting, and hydrotherapy and spirituality (divination). Notable
challenges include international diversity, national policy and regulation, perceived safety,
effectiveness and quality, knowledge and sustainability, patient safety and use. This study
recommends that more research be carried out on African traditional healing, that the
religious and metaphysical elements be separated from the physical matter, commitment of
more resources to test and promote the use of safe and efficacious traditional medicines,
practicing traditional healers should adhere to standardized norms and qualifications. There
is need for speedy passing of the traditional health practitioners’ bill.

 

Description

Traditional medicine is the sum total of knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories,
beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures that are used to maintain health, as
well as to prevent, diagnose, improve or treat physical and mental illnesses. This paper
explores the challenges of African traditional healing system and the implications for the
development of indigenous psychotherapy. Previous studies show that about 80% of the
population in Asian, African and some developed countries depend on traditional medicine
for primary health care. Rate of acceptability, use, confidence in and efficacy of traditional
healing system is increasing in Nigeria. Some indigenous traditional healing methods include
herbalism, therapeutic dieting, and hydrotherapy and spirituality (divination). Notable
challenges include international diversity, national policy and regulation, perceived safety,
effectiveness and quality, knowledge and sustainability, patient safety and use. This study
recommends that more research be carried out on African traditional healing, that the
religious and metaphysical elements be separated from the physical matter, commitment of
more resources to test and promote the use of safe and efficacious traditional medicines,
practicing traditional healers should adhere to standardized norms and qualifications. There
is need for speedy passing of the traditional health practitioners’ bill.

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