togo: strengthening partnerships between traditional and conventional medicine
However, traditional practitioners’ participation in the health system is quite rudimentary; they lack organization and they are unable to realize their enormous potential for providing healthcare.
Thus there is a need to strengthen traditional healers’ capacities, by improving collaboration between traditional and conventional medicine systems, to enable both groups’ members to exchange the knowledge and experience that would most certainly lead to mutual enrichment.
what happened: The general objective of this project was to improve the population’s health by developing the capacities of traditional healers. With that aim, Friends of the Earth Togo conducted a forum to provide at least 250 traditional healers with the basic knowledge needed to achieve a good practice of traditional medicine.
In addition, they familiarized these traditional healers with the concepts and basic practices of good health care. Finally, they were made aware of the different options available to collaborate with the rest of the actors in the health sector.
Friends of the Earth's support to traditional practitioners’ activities in Togo allowed the organization of this national forum, which coincided with the celebration of African Traditional Medicine Day, August 31st. The challenge of obtaining accommodation for the 250 participants was overcome, thanks to additional support from UNICEF-Lomé.
what was learned: The forum allowed traditional healers to achieve better knowledge of health care concepts and good practice. It also improved their ability to manage, diagnose, and carry out plans for care of patients. Furthermore, techniques for propagating threatened plants were circulated. Finally, all participants understood the necessity for both health systems, traditional and conventional, to collaborate with each other.
with thanks to our funders: the sigrid rausing trust