Analysis of Traditional Healers in Lesotho: Implications on Intellectual Property Systems
Traditional healers in Lesotho and other African countries have since pre-historic times played a major role in primary health care, counseling and rituals performed for different purposes in the society. Traditional healers in the past had their houses located very close to the main house of the village chief. This was to ensure that the healer is always accessible to the chief as they were not only entrusted in disease healing and driving away witchcraft but they were also the main advisors to the chief.The knowledge traditional healers have are on forecasting certain events, protecting crops and animals from hail and thunder storm, healing the sick, and driving away the evil spirits, is often not documented and as a result it is slowly going into extinction. This valuable knowledge is often not protected by law and is known by a few. The emergence and complexity of diseases like HIV and AIDS and other chronic diseases have always been interpreted by the society to be related to witchcraft. The overall objective of this investigation is to understand the role played by the traditional healers in primary health care systems and the cases of intellectual property systems.