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Title:Traditional medical practices and Western allopathic medicine in Tanzania: a look at bottlenecks towards universal health care by the year 2000 or beyond
Author:Comoro, Christopher J.ISNI
Periodical:Internationales Afrikaforum
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:health policy
traditional medicine
public health
Abstract:This paper examines the Western medical system, traditional medical practice, and the role played by both in national health care provision in Tanzania. An examination of the situation in the period before independence (1890-1961) shows that the negative attitude towards the indigenous people's way of life, cultivated by colonial administrators, missionaries and other Westerners, essentially drove apart the Western allopathic system and traditional medical practices, thereby promoting the former. In the postindependence era, the lopsided medical infrastructure inherited from the colonial period continued to be reproduced. The present epoch is experiencing more State tolerance towards 'traditional health-seeking behaviour'. Traditional medicine thus plays a significant complementary role to Western medicine. The question remains whether primary health care for all will be possible without the integration of the two medical systems. The author concludes that the two systems are not sufficiently integrated to attain health care for all by the turn of the century. Bibliogr., notes, ref.