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Management of indigenous human health knowledge in Tanzania: practitioners’ views

John Jackson Iwata
Ruth Hoskins


This article presents both quantitative and qualitative findings on the status of the availability and management of indigenous human health knowledge in Tanzania. It also provides insight into how far the country has come in managing such knowledge. The article draws from the findings of Iwata’s (2015) doctoral thesis on “Management of indigenous human health knowledge in Tanzania”. Data used in this article was collected through documentary sources, supplemented by interviews, focus group discussions and direct observation from the mentioned doctoral study.

The findings in this article reveal that Tanzania is rich in indigenous human health knowledge, but this knowledge is scattered through various communities across the country without being purposefully organised and managed. In the country, most of the indigenous knowledge is stored in the minds of people and gets lost when the owner of such knowledge dies. Also, efforts towards managing such knowledge are inadequate. To achieve proper management of the indigenous human health knowledge various strategies are recommended, including having in place education and training programmes on the importance of traditional medicine and creating evidence-based policies for the recognition of the importance of such knowledge as part of the country’s resources.

Keywords: Human Health, Indigenous Human Health Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, Management of Indigenous Knowledge