Mutola S, Pemunta NV, Ngo NV
Complement Ther Clin Pract 43 (-) 101386 [2021-04-20; online 2021-04-20]
Despite the WHO providing a framework for the integration of traditional medicines into the health systems with pandemics like HIV/AIDS and the COVID-19, most countries are yet to adopt the recommendations. This study explored why the integration of traditional medicines with the biomedical healthcare system in Qokolweni in Eastern Cape, South Africa was stalling. The research employed qualitative research methods; participant observation and in-depth ethnographic interviews of community members, traditional healers, and nurses. The study found that: traditional medicines are widely used in Qokolweni due to accessibility and long-built trust; the practice is broad and not certified. To achieve the integration of traditional medicine into the conventional health systems, the central government needs to show political will by setting up regulatory strategies that provide for the scientific evaluation and certification of traditional medicines. This will build confidence among biomedical scientists and health practitioners, thereby fostering easy collaboration and integration.