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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Social basis of illness: a search for therapeutic meaning
Author:Onu, Augustine Onyekwelu
Periodical:West African Journal of Archaeology
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subject:folk medicine
Abstract:This paper examines the concept of medicine from the African standpoint and analyses the substance of African medical practice with a view to assessing its rightful place in present-day societies in Africa. The author uses some cases from Nigeria to illustrate his argument. He looks at illness and illness behaviour (illness behaviour implies the way in which illness is perceived, evaluated and acted upon); the African concept of healing (only when one has a working knowledge of the African world view, can the African perspective of disease and ailments be appreciated, in addition to whatever means have been adopted by Africans in fighting such diseases); the social basis of illness (illness is not only a personal affair, it arouses a wide variety of feelings in the sick person and in those close to him); African drug therapy; and African drugless therapy. Since Africa's medical heritage has not, until now, been studied with either the deserved sympathy or the deserved indigenous expertise, governments should promote traditional medicine and recognize healers in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Bibliogr.