New Media and Archiving of Traditional Medicine Knowledge in Nigeria
Traditional medical practice continues to be shrouded in secrecy, regarded as diabolic and often mocked, or spurned over issues of dubious efficacy, doubtful safety, quackery, and charlatanism. However, the majority of Nigerians and other Africans recourse to traditional medicine due to limited access to orthodox healthcare. Unfortunately, 2010 is the terminal point of the African Union-inspired Decade for African Medicine and natural medicine is yet to reach the AU target even as traditional medicine has the capacity to generate income sufficient to dwarf the billions that accrue from the oil and gas sector. Phenomenal successes have been recorded by Chinese and Indian traditional medicine – the reason for the World Health Organisation and other international development agencies’ interest in the development and widespread use of traditional medicine. In this paper, I pose several questions: How can archiving of traditional medicine knowledge using the new media assist journalists? And what is the implication of this to development? For production and reproduction of traditional medicine knowledge to influence the social and economic development of the African continent, there must be significant cooperation among journalists, health scientists and researchers, traditional medicine practitioners and scholars as well as new media experts to archive traditional medicine knowledge.