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Health Essay Sample: Traditional Healing Systems

7 pages
1756 words
Wesleyan University
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During the ancient days, traditional healing was the only form of treatment for any sickness. Notably, it had an underlying set of principles but withoutany philosophical base. Initially, it was used by agricultural societies and nomadic pastoralists. Ostensibly, it is the form of treatment from which the westernized modern type of medication including Graeco-Arabic medicine and Chinese medicine developed. On the other hand, global health systems are a constellation of organizations whose primary objectives are promoting, restoring, and maintaining of human health. Apparently, the structure is connected to a set of rubrics that describe the behavioral characters, restrain activities, and may be applicable in different levels such as societies, nationwide, or worldwide. The enterprises may involve the government, international organizations, as well as profit and non- profit enterprises. Markedly, in countries such as Asia and Africa, more than 80% of the population opts for traditional remedies rather than modern medication for healthcare(Mukherjee 2015). According to an annual survey conducted in the United States, the reports indicated that modern westernized medicine would highly benefit when incorporated with traditional remedies. In essence, the global health systems would highly be efficient when integrated with conventional healing systems. It requires a lot of efforts and resources to develop new drugs through research and development in order to offer treatments to new arising diseases. Ostensibly, the global health systems majorly rely on the modernized medicines to provide remedies to sick patients. As a result of misuse of different drugs, the body develops antibodies towards the antibiotics rendering them and other life-saving drugs ineffective(Shetty 2017). Consequently, the doctors and health workers have turned to traditional healingmethods as an alternative.

In 1993, a Global Initiative for the traditional systems was formed with its headquarters based in Washington, DC. The primary objective of the initiative was to formulate a policy that would pay attention to the traditional medicines that assisted many people in the societies especially those in the emerging economies. Consequently, the growth of the conventional drug led to the documentation of the traditional medicines in the industrialized countries. Currently, more than half of the population in the industrialized nations uses the integrative medicine regularly in their lives. In order to offer support to the traditional healing, it acquired support and funding from different organizations such as the International Development Research Centre,United States National Institute, and World Health Organizations (WHO 2002). Seemingly, the relationship between traditional healing and global health systems had moved from early days when it was rejected to diversity through acceptance. Presently, the contemporary medicine is acknowledged in most cases due to its popularity by consumers in the ever increasing healthcare markets (Wiese, Oster, and Pincombe 2010). Most of the people have shifted from the modernized drugs, which are perceived as being more of chemicals to contemporary medicines that are alleged as natural and devoid of chemicals.

The healthcare sector in the sub-Saharan region in Africa dramatically relies on traditional medication for their treatment purposes. Notably, for an individual to build an operational treatment for diseases that are sensitive, a person may require a deep understanding of the roles of the medicine and how they work. A study was conducted in the population of Northern Tanzania to comprehend the effectiveness of the traditional medicine. The methodology used involved discussions and interviewing key informants in the society. Consequently, the information obtained was evaluated using an inductive framework technique. The study aimed at testing different characteristics of the traditional medicine among random people from the society. From the survey conducted, the participants reported knowing one or two people who used the treatments. According to the questionnaires, the drugs were used primarily for chronic diseases, malaria disease, and reproductive issues. Moreover, bestowing to the residents of Northern Tanzania, the determinants of the use of the traditional medications were based on several factors. Some of them involved the understanding of a disease, credibility of the medicines, and the status of the individual(Stanifer, Patel, Karia, Thielman, Maro, Shimbi, Kilaweh, Lazaro, Matemu, Omolo, and Boyd 2015). The research concluded that traditional medicines are used globally in healthcare and is not limited to either rural setting or low-income families.

Both traditional and complementary medicines are essential social phenomena. Studies from regional and national areas have indicated a high level of usage of the medications more so in cases of chronic ailments such as cancer. In the developed countries, traditional medicines are the primary source of treatments, especially in the rural and remote areas. Apparently, the social sensations are patterned over space and time. Although it is not clear how widely the traditional medicines are used, it is, however, clear that they are used in national and private health enterprises. It is also an appealing matter to the sociologist because it generates a lot of controversy in the broader communities. Notably, according to a sociologist, traditional medicines are commonly referred tocomplementary or alternative medicine (CAM). The maturation of CAM has made researchers be able to increase theories involving societal change and when appropriate linking it to historical research for it to be theoretically rigorous. Medical pluralism attracts attention towards the diversity of health practices and has made it possible to distinguish both medical monism and dualism. According to a seminar monograph, medical pluralism has a long history with its roots based in the UK. Apparently, the regular profession has fought hard to get rid of it because it was a challenge to their hegemony. However, pluralism has revived due to the wide usage and legitimation of CAM although it is facing resistant from the medical professions (Gale 2014). In essence, it is right to say that traditional medicines are essential tools in the global health systems because its efficiency is all-known.

The relationships between biomedicine and traditional medicines have brought about conflicting tendencies. Opponents claim that the use of biomedical and biomedicine concepts dislodges traditional beliefs and treatments. However, scholars have found out the two fields of medicines can co-exist and complement each other. A study conducted by scholars showed that there was a significant relationshipamid a person`s awareness of curativevegetation as well as a person`s familiarity with medications. In essence, the results proposed that there was a co-existence between individual's perception of pharmaceuticals and medicinal plants(Giovannini, Reyes-Garcia, Waldstein, and Heinrich 2011).Notably, efforts are made to incorporate traditional medicine in the public health streams across the world and more so in the developed nations. The primary objective behind the incorporation is to increase the access by people to healthcare facilities, improving the roles of the healthcare workers, and endorsing the different schemes of medicines. The strategy of the World Health Organization involves the acknowledgment of widespread usage of vegetative drugs and the inclusion of traditional medications in health sectors. Markedly, countries such as South Korea, China, and Cuba have formulated regional and national policies for the incorporation of conventional medicines into healthcare services. The Indian government under the Ministry of Health formed a program that was entailed at educating, accreditation, provisioning, and regulating the government endorsed traditional medicines(Josyula, Sheikh, Nambiar, Narayan, Sathyanarayana, and Porter 2016). In essence, it is right to say that conventional healing systems are widely used in the health systems globally.

Notably, there is a deficiency of westernized health care personnel in clinics and hospitals in countries such as South Africa. However, there is an abundance of traditional healers both in the rural and urban areas of the country. The residents of the nation have called upon the integration of the conventional treatments in the westernized bio-medicine in South Africa. Fortunately, the government of the country seems to be in support of the idea and hence wants to conjoin the two healthcare systems. Apparently, health is a very complex and essential issue that ought to be looked upon for the economy of a country to improve. Cases of malaria disease are known to be the leading illness that claims lives of many residents of the nation. The virus attacks more so the young and old people not only in South Africa but also other parts of the world. Besides malaria, cases of cholera outbreak have also been reported in the sub-Saharan regions and Zimbabwe. Consequently, many residents of the country traveled to the neighboring nations to seek treatment. Unfortunately, the health facilities were overstretching as a result of inadequate medical personnel. During moments like the one experienced in the two countries, would call for the integration of the traditional healing methods in the global health systemsto reduce the burden laid on the western medical facilities. Fortunately, the move to conjoining the two sectors was supported by the Minister of Health in South Africa. Globally, for decades now the traditional healing has caught the attention of many students in schools, colleges, and universities. Traditional healing concentrated in the African rural regions due to the inclination towards the people`s cultural ways of living. However, times have changed, and hence traditional medicines are no longer confined in the rural areas but instead have moved to the urban areas. Some of the factors that have led to the wide usage of the treatments are urbanization and high levels of demand in the market(Mokgobi 2013). Consequently, the high level of demand has led to developments of policies regarding the incorporation of traditional medications in the healthcare systems.

Complementary and traditional schemes of medicine involve a wide range of practices that are linked to religions, beliefs, spirituality, and experiences. According to reports from research, conventional drugs are usually used by patients with mental illness. In countries with low and middle income, traditional healers fill a vacuum in the delivery of intellectual health services. Markedly, the method of treatments used by the conventional medicine providers may at times fall short of meeting the public knowledge of human care and human rights(Gureje et al. 2015). Also, irrespective of the medicinal plants being termed as tradition, they form a strong foundation for the healthcare systems. Many people use the medication for treatment and maintenance of health. Apparently, the knowledge about the products started receiving recognition in the late 1970`s under the World Health Organization through the International Drug Monitoring program. In 1992, the program formulated a policy to introduce the traditional treatment into the health sector. After that, the activity was followed by a political armament through a variety of programs in international meetings, faculty of medicine, and research centers(McCool 2014). The use of the plant as medicines is well documented in the literature and is widespread globally especially in the industrialized nations. In countries such as China, America, and Europe, traditional medicines from pl...

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