Traditional vs. Modern Medicine

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Traditional vs. Modern Medicine
  3/23/2014Traditional vs. Modern Medicine | Global Health Africa GLOBALHEALTHAFRICAGlobal Health Africa Traditional vs. Modern Medicine n Medicine on  August 4, 2013  at 6:51 pm n this post, Guest Blogger, Udo Obiechefu ( attempts to start aconversation on the risks and rewards of traditional and modern medicine. Enjoy! It is estimated that over 70% of West Africans rely on traditional medicine for treatment of bothcommunicable and non-communicable diseases. There has been debate in recent years over the beliefthat traditional medicine should be given a more legitimate place within the structure of West Africanhealthcare. Traditional medicine offers many positive aspects to healthcare. Despite the criticisms ofsome traditional methods, many techniques used, especially those involving the use of herbs and roots,have scientific support and proven clinical success. The problem with traditional medicine lies in the belief of many that it should be the primary source of medical care. This belief that traditional healersare the first and last line of defense against an illness can lead to potential life threatening medicalemergencies.A study conducted in three ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) nations foundthat 60% of children suffering from malaria related fever were first treated with herbal medicines. Thiscan  be a dangerous situation. Heavy reliance on traditional means can bring about damaging resultswhen a life is in danger. This also holds true in regards to women’s healthcare. For instance, treatmentfor miscarriages are often performed by traditional healers when procedures of this nature should only be performed by properly trained medical personnel.Despite the issues, there is room for traditional and modern methods to work together. Most ECOWASnations are in the process of developing policies and regulations for traditional medical care. Instead ofworking against traditional methods, many healthcare systems are looking to work with traditionalhealers. Given the lack of access of many West Africans to quality hospitals, it is important to takeadvantage of the medical solutions already in place.  3/23/2014Traditional vs. Modern Medicine | Global Health Africa ( of African Health Statistics 2012. Raw data. World Health Organization. Regional Office forAfrica, Republic of Congo.Busia, Kofi. “Overview of Traditional Medicine in ECOWAS Member States.” The African Health Monitor  13 (2010). Web. 13 Nov. 2012.<>.“Traditional Medicine Fact Sheet.” WHO . World Health Organization, Dec. 2008. Web. 29 Mar. 2013. ▶  No ResponsesBlog at The DePo Masthead Theme.
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