Integrating traditional medical knowledge into mainstream healthcare (4) Integrating modern medical knowledge into traditional medical practice

5 July, 2018

I see it the other way round. The question should be "How can modern medical knowledge be integrated into communities/countries where traditional medical practice is the mainstream healthcare system?" If the majority of rural people do not visit medical doctors, pharmacies, clinics or hospitals on a regular basis but depend on traditional medical practice, which one is mainstream healthcare for them? To the extent most marginalized people visit hospitals and clinics when they are only very sick, it means there is an invisible 'mainstream' healthcare system they rely on most of the time.

Traditional medical practice has a unique way of spreading know-how better than modern medical practice. That is why in almost every rural community people can prevent or cure a number of ailments except complicated ones. It means traditional medical healers have democratized their knowledge in ways that western-trained modern medical practitioners have not been able or willing to do. Getting medical knowledge to the real world is a more fundamental issue so that people don’t have to surrender their lives to doctors or hospitals all the time and, sometimes unnecessarily.

Charles Dhewa

Chief Executive Officer

Knowledge Transfer Africa (KTA)

Harare City Council Community Services Building,

Mbare Agriculture Market

Harare, Zimbabwe

Tel: +263-4-669228

Mobile: +263 774 430 309 / 772 137 717/712 737 430


Website: /

Skype: charles.dhewa

HIFA profile: Charles Dhewa is the Managing Director of Knowledge Transfer Africa (Pvt) Ltd based in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is a HIFA Country Representative