The Place of Policy in Applied Health Care and Technology with Special Reference to African Traditional Medicine

"The author was assigned the task of addressing the role of policy in applied health technology with special reference to African traditional medicine. Perhaps what is intriguing in this theme is that despite the fact that African traditional medicine is by its anthropological nature a heritage of African peoples and nations, it has paradoxically been the object of chains of successive policies aimed at reviving and revitalizing it to regain its recognition and liberation for open practice in the context of socio-political and cultural modernization in emergent African society. As such this paradox becomes the “problematique” or central thesis to be examined in this paper. Seen and solidified in time and space dimensions, the paradox assumes the form of a dumb-bell-shaped phenomenon with the first big bump representing the pre-colonial era - when it was the only medicine of the people; then follows the truncation representing the thinning down due to the squeeze of colonial policy pressures, which continued into the early independence era for many countries; and then swells the second bump (not as big as the first), which represents the return or authorization of Traditional medicine as a public utility in modern states."