Reasons for Patronage of Traditional Bone Setting as an Alternative to Orthodox Fracture Treatment A case of Muleba District, Kagera Tanzania

  • Straton Kakoko Ruhinda
Keywords: Fracture(s), Traditional Bone Setting, traditional bone setters, orthopedic, orthodox treatment


The study examined the factors for the preference of Traditional Bone Setting (TBS) in the treatment of fractures among Tanzanians. It sought to unfold other reasons for consulting TBS practitioners besides poverty, ignorance and inaccessibility to modern orthopedic services which are commonly associated with the pull factors. From the available literature, though very popular, TBS is associated with complications like malunion, non-union of the fractured bones, and limb gangrene. In order to find out why there is a paradox, the investigation was mainly done in Muleba, a district of Kagera Region where the treatment is most common according to the Institute of Traditional and Alternative Medicine, at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences. The study revealed that the therapy management groups were often more vocal than their fractured individuals in deciding the model of treatment. And, the fractured people who are financially able, formally educated and geographically closer to orthopedic services are among the adherents of TBS. Besides, the respondents unanimously expressed their dislike of orthopedic amputation, Plaster of Paris (POP), internal and external fixation let alone the length of time spent in hospital for treatment. All these have significant implications including continued use of TBS by rural and urban people for themselves and livestock. Combining X-ray reading and alternative medicine makes TBS sustainable. Thus, in future, it is suggested TBS services be integrated to orthodox treatment so as to control its negative aspects while harnessing its positive aspects.

Author Biography

Straton Kakoko Ruhinda

The Open University of Tanzania


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0856-6739