Monday, March 21

Should Traditional Healers Be Included?

Late last year, Zambia's traditional healers called on government to integrate their "folk" remedies with modern medicine.

Now, the Science and Development Network reports that "traditional healers and lawyers are joining forces with scientists in Zambia to help draft a national policy for protecting indigenous knowledge and genetic resources."

This is probably a good idea. However, I know a traditional healer that stubbornly refused to send his sick 8-year-old daughter to the hospital. Instead, he insisted he could cure her. She quickly died. Incorporating traditional healers in the search for cures for diseases like HIV/AIDS and TB is important, but sometimes their unwavering fanaticism makes them ineffective. It's important they remember their solution is not the only one (and may not be the right one).