Tuesday, September 10, 2019

History- African Health and Society Research Paper

History- African Health and Society - Research Paper Example Africans relied on traditional medicine emanating mainly from plants. There were other believes about health and healing and some Africans believed on praying their God for healing. Though Africans criticized certain features of Western biomedicine, there were a variety of compromises and accommodations. Conflicts The proponents of Western biomedicine espoused an uncompromising stance toward African healing strategies. Through the introduction of Western biomedicine, the colonizers aimed to supersede traditional values, beliefs, and knowledge that were vital to African therapeutic practices. The Africans and Europeans were involved in conflict where the Africans aimed at guarding their traditional health practices, whereas the West aimed at replacing these African traditional health practices. In Kenya, the conflicts were manifest in avoidance of public hospitals and drug prescriptions, formal protests, and indifference to the European public health campaigns (Ndege 2002, 4).2 One co nflict arose as a result of the interpretation of the causes of diseases. Western biomedicine came along with hospitals and medical laboratories. This introduction and institutionalization of Western biomedicine led to empirical and intellectual conversations among Africans and the state regarding issues and implications concerning health, sickness, and therapy. The colonizers relied on laboratory based system to examine the causes of diseases, whereas Africans relied on traditional explanations concerning causes of diseases. The colonial government conducted aggressive public health campaigns, and this weakened the attempts by Africans to comprehend the objective of the state officials (Ndege 2002, 2).2 The colonial state established commissions of inquiry to address the problems of race and conflict, injustice and equality, and the power of the rulers and the followers. The colonial state gave little attention to the function of such commissions on the issue of health care (Ndege 2002, 3). For example, there is an argument that such commissions in South Africa are established by the state with an aim of legitimizing citizens’ minds and what the government desires, which the government is incapable of accomplishing through formal policy proclamations. However, the appointing authority of these commissions determined the final report of the commissions. A conflict arose in regard to recognition of Western biomedicine and African biomedicine. The laboratory system of the Western biomedicine enabled the identification of the causes of the diseases through the examination of the blood and other tissues. The colonial state absorbed, extended, and customized the medical operation of blood and other tissues, thereby embracing this brand of medicine irrevocably to the administration of the colonies. The colonial state did not accord similar recognition to the African medicine. The instantaneous conflict originated from the refutation of indigenous curative kno wledge, agency, and personhood. The denial motivated a domestic, cultural critique, which questioned the very principles that Western biomedicine advocated (Ndege 2002, 5).3 In particular, this happened during the shadow-boxing era of medical

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