Health sector reforms in Nigeria: The need to integrate traditional medicine into the health care system
Inspite of the wide spread use, traditional medicines have not yet been integrated into the national health care systems of many developing countries, including Nigeria. This paper focuses on the need to integrate folk medicine into the mainstream health care system of Nigeria, which is hitherto dominated by allopathic medical practice, and to further identify the main systems of integration. For analytical discourse, functionalist and political economy schools of thought were utilized as guiding frameworks. On this basis, the argument has been to support and advocate for the integration of folk medicine into the nations health care system. Additionally, the argument for integration locates the prevailing health care system within the capitalist framework, which seeks to serve the interest of the dominant medical industrial complex and their local collaborators. In the final analysis therefore, western medicine as currently practiced is an elite system that minimally caters for the health needs of the ordinary populace. It is observed thus that, when folk medicine is integrated into the health care system, it will complement the shortcomings of allopathic medicine and serve the numerous health needs of the people.
Key words: Folk medicine, orthodox medicine, health care system, integration, Nigeria.
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