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Traditional health practitioner and the scientist: Bridging the gap in contemporary health research in Tanzania.
Tanzania Health Research Bulletin. 2007 May; 9(2):115-120.Traditional health practitioners (THPs) and their role in traditional medicine health care system are worldwide acknowledged. Trend in the use of Traditional medicine (TRM) and Alternative or Complementary medicine (CAM) is increasing due to epidemics like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases like cancer. Despite the wide use of TRM, genuine concern from the public and scientists/biomedical heath practitioners (BHP) on efficacy, safety and quality of TRM has been raised. While appreciating and promoting the use of TRM, the World Health Organization (WHO), and WHO/Afro, in response to the registered challenges has worked modalities to be adopted by Member States as a way to addressing these concerns. Gradually, through the WHO strategy, TRM policy and legal framework has been adopted in most of the Member States in order to accommodate sustainable collaboration between THPs and the scientist/BHP. Research protocols on how to evaluate traditional medicines for safety and efficacy for priority diseases in Africa have been formulated. Creation of close working relationship between practitioners of both health care systems is strongly recommended so as to revamp trust among each other and help to access information and knowledge from both sides through appropriate modalities. In Tanzania, gaps that exist between THPs and scientists/BHP in health research have been addressed through recognition of THPs among stakeholders in the country's health sector as stipulated in the National Health Policy, the Policy and Act of TRM and CAM. Parallel to that, several research institutions in TRM collaborating with THPs are operating. Various programmed research projects in TRM that has involved THPs and other stakeholders are ongoing, aiming at complementing the two health care systems. This paper discusses global, regional and national perspectives of TRM development and efforts that have so far been directed towards bridging the gap between THPs and scientist/BHP in contemporary health research in Tanzania. (author's)
Traditional medicine development for medical and dental primary health care delivery system in Africa.
African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 2005; 2(1):46-61.Traditional African Medicine (TAM) is our socio-economic and socio-cultural heritage, servicing over 80% of the populations in Africa. Although, it has come a long way from the times of our ancestors, not much significant progress on its development and utilization had taken place due to colonial suppression on one hand, foreign religions in particular, absolute lack of patriotism and political will of our Governments, and then on the other hand, the carefree attitudes of most African medical scientists of all categories. It is incontrovertible that TAM exhibits far more merits than demerits and its values can be exploited provided the Africans themselves can approach it with an open mind and scientific mentality. The degree of sensitization and mobilization by the World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged some African countries to commence serious development on TAM. The African Regional Director of the WHO has outlined a few guidelines on the responsibilities of all African nations for the realistic development of TAM, in order to sustain our health agenda and perpetuate our culture. The gradual extinction of the forests and the inevitable disappearance of the aged Traditional Medical Practitioner should pose an impending deadline for us to learn, acquire and document our medical cultural endowment for the benefit of all Africans and indeed the entire mankind. (author's)
Paris, France, UNESCO, Division of Basic Education, Literacy and Non-Formal Education Section, 2003 Jul.  p. (Literacy, Gender and HIV / AIDS Series)This booklet is one of an ever-growing series of easy-to-read materials produced at a succession of UNESCO workshops partially funded by the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA). The workshops are based on the appreciation that gender-sensitive literacy materials are powerful tools for communicating messages on HIV/AIDS to poor rural people, particularly illiterate women and out-of-school girls. Based on the belief that HIV/AIDS is a health as well as a social, cultural and economic issue, the workshops train a wide range of stakeholders in HIV/AIDS prevention including literacy, health and other development workers, HIV/AIDS specialists, law enforcement officers, material developers and media professionals. Before a workshop begins, the participants select their target communities and carry out needs assessments of their potential readers. (excerpt)
Reaching communities for child health and nutrition: a proposed implementation framework for HH/C IMCI.
Arlington, Virginia, Partnership for Child Health Care, Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival [BASICS], 2001.  p. (USAID Contract No. HRN-C-00-99-00007-00; USAID Contract No. FAO-A-00-98-00030-00)The Household and Community component of IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness) was officially launched as an essential component of the IMCI strategy at the First IMCI Global Review and Coordination Meeting in September 1997. Participants recognized that improving the quality of care at health facilities would not by itself be effective in realizing significant reductions in childhood mortality and morbidity because numerous caretakers do not seek care at facilities. Since that first meeting, several efforts were undertaken to strengthen interagency collaboration for promoting and implementing community approaches to child health and nutrition. (excerpt)
Ancient remedies, new disease: involving traditional healers in increasing access to AIDS care and prevention in East Africa. UNAIDS Case Study.
Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2002 Jun.  p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS Case Study; UNAIDS/02.16E; PN-ACP-802)In the 20 years that it has been with us, AIDS has continued its relentless spread across continents. By the end of 2000, the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that 36.1 million men, women and children were living with HIV around the world and 21.8 million had died. Though AIDS is now found in every country, it has most seriously affected sub-Saharan Africa—home to 70% of all adults and 80% of all children living with HIV, and the continent with the fewest medical resources in the world. AIDS is now the primary cause of death in Africa and it has had a devastating impact on villages, communities and families on the continent. In many African countries, the numbers of new infections are increasing at a rate that threatens to destroy the social fabric. Life expectancies are decreasing rapidly in many of these countries as a result of AIDS-related illnesses and socioeconomic hardships. And of the 13.2 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS worldwide, 12.1 million are in Africa. In the past, AIDS-control activities relied on giving information about HIV transmission, and imparting practical skills to enable individuals to reduce their risk of HIV infection and care for themselves if infected. There is a growing awareness, however, that sociocultural factors surrounding the individual need to be considered in designing both prevention and care interventions. As the epidemic continues to ravage the low- and middle-income world, it becomes increasingly evident that diverse strategies to confront the wide-ranging and complex social, cultural, environmental and economic contexts in which HIV continues to spread must be researched, tested, evaluated, adapted and adopted. (excerpt)
In: Programming for male involvement in reproductive health. Report of the meeting of WHO Regional Advisers in Reproductive Health, WHO / PAHO, Washington DC, USA, 5-7 September 2001. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2002. 88-103. (WHO/FCH/RHR/02.3)Health sector priorities are ideally set according to a number of variables, including: burden of disease; whether effective and proven ‘solutions’ are available; and the calculated cost-effectiveness of those solutions. In the case of sexual health services, we argue in this paper that this conceptual framework is useful for programme planning, but needs to take into account one important additional element: the client’s perspective. We further argue that the sexual health of men in south Asia can not be adequately addressed unless men’s beliefs about their bodies, men’s health priorities, and men’s sexual health concerns are evaluated, interpreted and acted upon. Services which do not correspond to men’s own perceived sexual health needs are unlikely to attract men as clients, and thus remove many of the opportunities for male involvement in other aspects of reproductive and sexual health prevention and care. Men’s own sexual health priorities may not correspond exactly with the priorities of public health programmes; we therefore discuss how the two sets of concerns may be reconciled and men brought more equitably into programmes. Finally, we outline areas which may be of particular concern to programme managers if this approach is adopted. (author’s)
The impact of HIV / AIDS on Southern Africa's children: poverty of planning and planning of poverty.
Pretoria, South Africa, Human Sciences Research Council, Southern African Regional Poverty Network, 2002. , 26 p. (Save the Children UK: Southern Africa Scenario Planning Paper)In the initial discussion of this paper the terms of reference began: “Save the Children has not been adept at managing its programme planning processes in the region. Country based strategic planning has often been a tortuous business which has alienated our staff because of the abstract language used. It has been a time consuming and often disjointed process leaving most participants dissatisfied with the final planning document”. Save the Children (SCF) is not alone in this. HIV/AIDS is changing the environment in which we operate. It will have effects as serious as the plague in medieval Europe and we do not know how to deal with it. In effect there is a complete poverty in planning which will result in considerable impoverishment and misery in much of Southern Africa. One new way to assess the situation would be to through developing scenarios. HEARD has some experience in this having been part of a team working with Shell South Africa on developing scenarios for their Southern African region. We therefore agreed to prepare a draft paper, and this was discussed with SCF staff. We did not agree to follow the terms of reference exactly but rather to prepare the paper with scenarios. The first draft was completed and sent for comment on 21st June with a deadline for comment of 27th June (Alan Whiteside was away from 27th June). The first draft showed up one major problem. SCF must be part of the brainstorming. We know what HIV/AIDS means in broad terms, we have some ability at developing broad scenarios but we do not know what SCF does or what these will mean for them. In effect while HEARD’s work is nearly complete that of SCF is only just beginning. (excerpt)
Our families, our friends: an action guide. Mobilize your community for HIV / AIDS prevention and care.
[Bangkok, Thailand], United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], South East Asia HIV and Development Project, 2000. vi, 30 p. (Best Practice Documentation on Community Mobilization for HIV / AIDS: Case of Thailand)Community actions on the prevention and control of AIDS are initiated based on the community’s needs. The community hospital may play an important role in promoting and supporting care for people with HIV/AIDS (PWHA) within their area. In turn, the sustainability of controlling HIV problems in the community is based on the strength of that community. Therefore, building resources within the community should be promoted, so that those concerned understand the problems, provide acceptance to PWHA, and work together to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS. Religious leaders can play a major role in providing support and encouraging social change towards the acceptance of PWHA. Self-help groups are very important community units, they provide care, psychosocial support and generate income for PWHA. The work plan of activities needs to be flexible, based on the needs of PWHA and their community. This action guide can help people in your community to understand how to help one another and work together for their mutual benefit, now and in the future. (excerpt)