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Knowledge Pack : Health

This Knowledge Pack contains Indigenous Knowledge cases and other useful information related to the Health. The indigenous knowledge pack is a tool that provides users with quick access to synthesized information by country or selected thematic area.

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IK Cases
HIV/AIDS

Cameroon: Traditional food preparations improve immune system of HIV/AIDS patients.

Mozambique: Involving traditional healers in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Tanzania: Traditional healers counsel patients and treat HIV/AIDS related symptoms.

South Africa: Potato is used to boost the immune system of HIV/AIDS infected people.

Medicinal Plants

Burkina Faso: Pharmacopeia known by traditional healers has multiple uses.

Kenya: Use of plants for their antibiotic effects

Mali: Contraceptive plants to tackle issue of unwed-mothers and for family planning.

Ethiopia : Use of a mixture made of coffee powder and honey to treat diarrhea.

Burkina Faso: Herbal treatment of Snake bites.

Tanzania: Medicinal use of plants to alleviate health problems of both human and livest.

Tanzania: Sharing of knowledge on medicinal plants among the Maasai.

Somalia: Traditional Somali healers are adept at treating a variety of illnesses.

Madagascar: Traditional healers, develop complementary treatments for Malaria.

Maternal/Child Health Care Cameroon:Traditional midwives in the Bui Division.

Nigeria: Postpartum maternal and child health care rites and observances.

Senegal: Self-managed health clinics in the countryside improve health of children.

Tanzania: Female circumcision in Maasai society.
Other Traditional Health Practices Mozambique: Post Stress Traumatic Syndrome Treatment Process in post-war Mozamb.

Burkina Faso: Mossi treatment of measles.

Ethiopia: Illnesses of the lung are known and treated by traditional healers.

Senegal: Senegalese rural women abolish female circumcision in their community.

Burkina Faso: Community-managed pharmacies and clinics.

Mali: Anti-venom is prepared according to a ritual that strengthens social cohesion.

Uganda: Traditional birth attendants contribute to reduction of maternal mortality.














Cameroon: Traditional food preparations improve immune system of HIV/AIDS patients.

At the Mefopla Centre in Bamenda-Cameroon, the immune system of AIDSpatients is boosted by indigenous medicinal plants with enzyme rich food. These include oils from plants like Soya, cashew and Shea butter saturated fats, wild fruits. Vegetables with high fiber content, which the patients are encouraged to consume, are helpful in cleansing the system. Though this diet and nutritional therapies do not cure the disease, they are, however, reported to improve the immune system. The therapy also involves the elimination of stress bound foods and liquids from patients' diet such as coffee, black tea, sugar, salt, white flour as well as concentrated carbohydrate white rice. The treatment fares well and helps to reduce the physical and psychological symptoms that go with the disease like rashes, blisters, respiratory syndromes and stress/depression.

Lesson:
Natural juices, and traditional food and medicinal preparations could improve the immune system of AIDS patients, reduce the physical and psychological symptoms and be cheaper than a treatment based purely on medication.

Source: Dr. Wirmum Clare Kinyuy, Mefopla Re-search Center; CIKO

Contact: ngwasiri@camnet.cm


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Mozambique: Involving traditional healers in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Ethno-medical research in Mozambique has deepened biomedical understanding of beliefs and practices related to sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in Southern Africa, and assisted in the de-sign of culturally meaningful AIDS communication strategies. The resulting AIDS/STD prevention programs have attempted to teach biomedical concepts to traditional healers by using symbols, metaphors and etiologic concepts already in use to explain familiar, locally recognized sexually transmitted illnesses. This has aided greatly in healers' understanding of unfamiliar biomedical concepts and has laid the groundwork for how traditional healers will promote behavior change among their clients, as
well as new technologies such as condoms.

Lesson: Involvement of traditional knowledge workers (healers) in awareness creation in a psychologically and socially sensitive area like sexuality could have higher impact at a lower cost.

Source: Green, E.C. Tropical Doctor, Supl. 1, p.1-4, 1997: Participationof traditional healers in AIDS prevention programs

Contact: egreendc@aol.com


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Tanzania: Traditional healers counsel patients and treat HIV/AIDS related symptoms.

Wadigo and Washambaa AIDS patients in the Tanga Region in Northeast Tanzania seek advice and treatment from local healers. Various plant-based applications as well as counseling have proven to reduce substantially the impact of secondary infections on AIDS patients. Patients with AIDS in the Tanga region, state that they feel less pain from AIDS related symptoms after local treatment as compared to treatments received in the hospitals. Observed improvements included disappearance of skin problems, increase in appetite, return of vision strength within two weeks only. Because of a survey indicating traditional healers' better access to patients the regional AIDS working group is re-considering its approach to treatment and counseling of AIDS and STD pa-tients. The counseling and treatment was also reported as more affordable for poorer people.

Lesson: Integrating local healers in AIDS prevention and mitigation strategies increases effectiveness of approach and access for poorer patients.

Source: MARECIK Amand Hayman, Tanzania Wildlife Ecology and Conservation; for more inf. contact D. Scheinman

Contact: tanga4@twiga.com




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South Africa: Potato is used to boost the immune system of HIV/AIDS infected people.

A strain of potato (Hypoxis), a medicinal plant growing in Kwa Zulu (Natal), traditionally used to treat chronic viral and bacterial diseases, was originally used by traditional healers to treat cancer of the bladder and prostate, and according to some sources sexually transmitted diseases, had shown that it contained two substances called sterols and sterolins, which are essential dietary fats or lipids, and has helped many people to recover quicker from chronic and other diseases. It is a partly poisonous root, but with the right preparation and dosage, and, although not a cure, it is an approved immune booster to assist the body's natural defense system. The University of Stellenbosch of(South Africa)has done extensive research on this traditional medicine and developed easy to take tablets and has indicated that, although the potato is not sufficient treatment on its own, it could be extremely helpful when used together with other forms of treatment. According to Professor Patrick Bouic, who heads the department of immunology at the University of Stellenbosch,and Professor Ruben Sher of HIVCare International, the plant had shown the ability to increase CD4 counts (the amount of white blood cells in the body); to stabilize the patient; increase the weight of patients; and decrease the amount of HIV in the body. They also emphasized the importance of combining Western and traditional medicines in treating terminal illnesses. The root-based medicine is sold in the form of capsules and should be purchased in health centers or pharmacies only.

Lesson: Combining Western and traditional medicines in treating terminal illnesses may help developing efficient treatments

Source: The Sowetan (Johannesburg) May 21, 1999 By Mokgadi Pela

External Link: http://www.africanews.org/south/southafrica/storie

Contact: nayachi@worldbank.


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Burkina Faso: Pharmacopeia known by traditional healers has multiple uses.

Traditional healers maintain their own information on therapeutic drugs. Most commonly drugs are plant based, and various preparations are used. For instance,
Piliostigma reticulatum is used to treat headaches, dental neuralgia, oral inflammation, and mumps. Masticating the  leaves of P. reticulatum is indicated for dizziness. It is also boiled with gueira and Securidaca leaves and used in the treatment of syphilis, chancre, bronchitis, malaria, and phagedaena. Prepared as a drink, the mixture is used for epileptic seizures. Non-coniferous twigs in a   decoction are used to treat hemorrhoids and
as a liniment applied to the chest for lung disease.

Lesson: Knowledge of various traditional pharmacopoeia systems can help modern medicine addressing local needs more effectively.

Source: Delphine OUEDRAOGO, Arbre et Développement, Direction de la Foresterie Villageoise et de l'Aménagement Forestier, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, AD n°24,1e trimestre1999, 27-29 : « Piliostigma reticulatum ou le petit arbre qui guérit plaies et ulcères »                       

Contact: emile_dialla@yahoo.fr


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Kenya: Use of plants for their antibiotic effects.

The Giriama community in (SE Kenya) depends on the "Arabuko-Sokoke" coastal forests for their supplies of medicine, food, etc. They use some plant species to prevent or treat infectious diseases for wounds, boils, scabies, diarrhea, dysentery, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Annonaceae, Fabaceae and Vitaceae are the most commonly used plant families. Laboratory tests confirmed that most of the plant species used traditionally to manage bacterial and fungal infections showed strong effects against tested patho-gens. The unique Arabuko-Sokoke forests are an endangered biotop due to expanding settlements and other utilization. In the case of its disappearance, the Giriama could lose a source of medicinal plants and a number of unique species of fauna and flora would lose their habitat too.

Lesson: The knowledge of the Giriama is useful for managing the endangered resource and provides the basis for its sustainable use.

Source: MARECIK, N. Ole-Lengisugi, (1998) Doris Mutta

Contact: multich@yako.habari.co.tz



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Mali: Contraceptive plants to tackle issue of unwed-mothers and for family planning

The Dogon of Mali from the village of Guinoubanou (district of Kani Gogouno in the Bandiagara region) use a plant-based contraceptive method dating from ancient times. The Dogon are sensitive to the issue of unwed-mothers who would tarnish the family image,as well as to women's health. Women are considered an essential pillar in the family structure. For these reasons, girls are pushed by their parents into practicing a traditional form of birth control. They are given an herbal preparation to take on their first menstruation day each month. This plant-based medicine is also used by women who have just given birth to aid their recovery and for the practice of child-spacing. The Tapily family in the village of Guinoubanou has been the keepers of this knowledge for generations.

Lesson: Traditional family planning methods, when they exist and are safe, should be acknowledged, improved and promoted by development organizations

Source: Association Malienne pour les Connaissances Traditionnelles (AMACOTRA) BPE 2666,ACI 2000 Avenue Cheikh Zayed, Bamako, Mali, Tel:(223) 29 1504

Contact: nayachi@worldbank



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Ethiopia : Use of a mixture made of coffee powder and honey to treat diarrhea.

"Mar ba Buna", is a mixture of coffee powder and honey prescribed by local healers throughout Ethiopia as a medicine to treat diarrhea, and is reported to be efficient. The coffee has to be roasted and grounded, and the honey is supposed to be taken from bees preferably during the month of October, when most varieties of flowers flourish. 50 to 100 grams of freshly grounded coffee powder are mixed with an equal amount of honey in a cup. The mixture is taken orally by the patient. It is said that diarrhea stops after taking one dose of this traditional medicine.

Lesson: Easy to prepare and cost-effective traditional medicine, when proven efficient and safe,may be transferred to other communities

Source: Akalu Woldemariam, Association for the Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge (APIK)Addis Ababa University P.O. Box 1176 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tel/Fax: +251-1-550655

Contact: EHNRI@telecom.net.et



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Burkina Faso: Herbal treatment of Snake bites.

As a treatment for snake bites, Mossi farmers from Boussou (Yatenga) recommend chewing two roots of Feretia apodanthera (finninga in the Mooré language), and swallowing the juice. According to the Mossi this practice is effective for viper and naia bites.

Lesson: Herbal treatment of certain snake bites is common among local communities, but its efficacy has to be confirmed by modern medicine.

Source: Henri Y. KABORE et Dieudonné NIKIEMA, INADES-Formation, ET. 48, janvier 1992, Ougadougou,Burkina Faso. «Les pratiques et savoirs paysans en matière de santé humaine dans le Département de Boussou ( Province du Yatenga)» ( Rapport d'étude).

Contact: EHNRI@telecom.net.et


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Tanzania: Medicinal use of plants to alleviate health problems of both human and livestock.

It is estimated that over 1000 plant species in Tanzania are used assources of traditional medicine for human ailments by the Maasai, Wapare, Wameru, and Illarusa  of N. Tanzania. . Over 80% of Tanzanians are dependent on traditional phytomedicine to treat various diseases. More than 100 plant species are recorded to treat 38 different pathological conditions of livestock in Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Uhaya regions. Veterinary use of plants s widespread among the pastoralist communities in Tanzania but not restricted to them.

Lesson: Knowledge of traditional medicine practices has not yet sufficiently inseminated conventional medicinal practices in Tanzania, a missed opportunity for cost effective treatments.

Source: MARECIKN. Ole-Lengisugi; F. Ole-Ikayo

Contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz



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Tanzania: Sharing of knowledge on medicinal plants among the Maasai.

The knowledge of medicinal use of plants is not equally distributed within the society. While herds people gradually become educated through a complex, phased process about their environments such us the herding of cattle, they also become aware of some basic and rudimentary applications of medicinal uses of plants. This general knowledge,however, is restricted to simple applications. A more complex knowledge of uses of plants, especially if related to reproductive and mental health, is kept by the medicine men who are present in any group or village. They acquire their knowledge from parents, elders and through apprenticeships and experience. The chief medicine men, the "Laibon", however, "inherit" their knowledge. By acquiring knowledge through inheritance (that does, obviously, not exclude training, apprenticeship and experience, the Laibons are the guardians of the medicinal knowledge. This ensures a certain standard of quality that could be referred to by "general practitioners".

Lesson: Hierarchical distribution of medicinal knowledge ensures widespread application as well as sustainable protection.

Source: MARECIK, N. Ole-Lengisugi; F. Ole-Ikayo

Contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz


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Somalia: Traditional Somali healers are adept at treating a variety of illnesses.

Somali traditional medicine is practiced by traditional healers who are usually older men of the community who have learned their skills from older family members. They are especially adept at treating hepatitis,measles, mumps, chicken pox, hunch-back, facial droop, and broken bones. Modalities used include,fire-burning, herbal remedies, casting, and prayer. Fire-burning is a procedure where a stick from a special tree is heated till it glows and then applied to the skin in order to cure the illness. It is commonly used for hepatitis (identified as when the eyes, skin, and nails turn yellow and the urine turns dark), where the heated stick is applied once to each wrist and 4 times to the abdomen. It is also commonly used for malnutrition(marasmus); when the head seems to be large out of proportion with the body, the heated stick is applied to the head in order to reduce the head size. Pneumonia is treated with fire-burning, herbs, and sometimes percutaneous removal of fluid from the chest. Seizures are treated with herbs and readings from the Koran. Stomach-aches and back-aches are treated with the herb habakhedi, while rashes and sore throats are treated with a tea made from the herb dinse. Traditional doctors are also responsible for helping to cure illnesses caused by spirits. When the spirits become angry, illnesses such as fever, headache, dizziness,and weakness can result. The illness is cured by a healing ceremony designed to appease the spirits. These ceremonies involve reading the Koran, eating special foods, and burning incense. The illness is usually cured within 1 or 2 days of the ceremony.

Lesson: Healing ceremonies involving reading the Koran, eating special foods, and burning incense along with the use of herbal remedies are part of the healing process.

Source: Toby Lewis, MD, University of Washington

Contact: nayachi@worldbank.org



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Madagascar: Traditional healers, develop complementary treatments for Malaria.

In Madagascar, traditional medicine vendors in the marketplace are also traditional healers and pharmacists. The `ombiasy` as they are called are the local population's main medical resource. They are known to possess a special connection to plants, and for their knowledge of sacred artifacts used to invoke their healing power. Their knowledge comes from experience, from trial and error with plant remedies, from methods passed down from generation to generation. Thus, for example, they use the greenish `Jateorhiza palmata` vine to deaden pain; the bark of a local baobab tree that they boil down to a broth to relieve back pain (because the baobab is held sacred, only the needed portion of the bark is cut); the leaves and bark of `Harungana madagascariensis`, to stimulate gastric juice secretion in the treatment of digestive disorders. In addition, building on local traditional medicinal knowledge, a tea made of dried stem barks of `Strychnos myrtoides`, to enhance the action of chloroquine against resistant parasite in the treatment of Malaria, has been developed by the Institut Malgache de Recherches Appliquées, demonstrating that a combination of traditional healing and formal medical practices can be cost effective and efficient.

Lesson: In many African countries, traditional healers are the local population's main medical resource. Their knowledge may be efficiently combined with formal medical methods to develop cost effective treatments for endemic diseases such as malaria.

Source: Joel L. Swerdlow (National Geographic, April 2000)

External Link:http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0004.

Contact: nayachi@worldbank.org



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Cameroon:Traditional midwives in the Bui Division.

A traditional birth attendant from Mbinon village in Nso, Bui Division, North West Province of Cameroon reports on the use of two kinds of leaves to facilitate childbirth. The first is the leaf of a plant of the family Malvaceae, which she uses for ordinary cases. The second is the leaf of a plant in the family Acanthacae,which she applies on women with case histories of difficult deliveries and women expecting their first babies. When the freshly harvested leaves are diluted, the liquid is spread in the labor room. A quarter of the liquid is drunk by the expectant mother while a portion of it is massaged onto the expectant mother's waist, belly and pubic region. This administration increases contraction of the uterus and the dilatation of the cervix during labor, thereby facilitating delivery. If the placenta fails to detach and flow out within a reasonable time,the expectant mother chews the herbs and swallows their juice. The success rates are reported to be extraordinarily high.

Lesson: Traditional birth methods are affordable for even the poorer members of the community and could be used to complement modern medicine.

Source: Mankoiy Martha Fangfo, Nso , Dr. Wirmum Clare Kinyuy, Mefopla Re-search Center; CIKO

Contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz



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Nigeria: Postpartum maternal and child health care rites and observances.

During a four-week period after birth called 'Omugwo'  the mother and the child of the Igbo communities of Southeastern Nigeria are secluded and relieved from all other chores they are cared for by the grandmother of the newborn. The new mother is given a stimulating hot soup made with dried fish meat yams plenty of pepper and a spe-cial herbal seasoning called 'udah' which makes the uterus contract and thus helps in expelling of blood clots. The diet helps to restore blood lost during childbirth to restore energy facilitated the healing of wounds and restores normal bodily functions and promotes lactation.For a first time mother the time is utilized to receive parental and house keeping practices from her mother.

Lesson: Health care programs need to acknowledge the 'Omugwo' rites and integrate them in their assistance strategies.

Source: Obikeze, D. S. IK K Monitor 5(2) 1997 CIRAN

External Link: CIRAN http://www.nuffic.nl/ciran/



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Senegal: Self-managed health clinics in the countryside improve health of children.

A group of women in the village of Saam Njaay in the region of Senegal established a program of baby-weighing and maternal health. Building on the contribution of materials by a philanthropic organization and the support of some husbands, they extended the program to more than 15 villages in the small region,where pregnant women and mothers of young infants could visit the infirmary for consultations and medical visits. The group gradually expanded its functions to a complete sys-tem of preventive medicine, first aid, and referral to the regional dispensary as needed. Its personnel maintained such detailed files on consultation and treatment that it was possible, beginning in 1996, for the group to conduct its own statistical analysis retracing the incidence and evolution of infantile disease in the zone; the results demonstrated a net improvement on several important indicators.

Lesson: Relying on local organizations helps to integrate traditional and modern health systems to improve primary health care.

Source: Peter Easton, Florida State University, IK-Notes (to be published)

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org



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Tanzania: Female circumcision in Maasai society.

The Maasai are a patriarchal society. Girls marriages are determined by male parents. A male head of household decides when girls in the family should be circumcised, married out and to whom. Becoming a married woman means relinquishing all the girls rights and happy life with warriors. (See also entry Nr. 57). Circumcision is the entry point to marriage life. All Maasai girls are circumcised and exchanged with cows during marriage. Uncircumcised women would still be regarded as girls and will not be married.Circumcision thus is considered a symbol of maturity, and responsibility, a rite of passage from pubescent girls to matrimonial women. Circumcision as a practice gives a woman social respect in a community and recognition as a woman ready for marriage and capable of bearing children. The root cause of female oppression is considered to lie in the practice of forced marriages for pubescent girls.

Lesson: Addressing Female Genital  Mutilation (FGM) requires a thorough understanding of the history,power relationships and culture specific understanding of its role in society. FGM may, however have serious implications for the health of girls/women. ( For related case about the abolition of FGM in Senegal,see IK Notes 3: http://www.worldbank.org/afr/ik/iknt3.pdf)

Source: MARECIK, Tanzania Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Courtney Snegroff, "Female Circumcision in Maasai Culture" (1998)

Contact: multicho@yako.habari.co.tz



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Mozambique: Post Stress Traumatic Syndrome Treatment Process in post-war Mozamb.

During the war in Mozambique there were over a million military and civilian deaths. At the time of the 1992 peace agreement about 90,000 combatants had survived. Both sides had inflicted brutality and horror on each other. Atrocities such as children soldiers being forced to kill their own families to ensure their loyalty to rebels, were quite common. The war left a traumatic and shocking legacy among civilians and combatants alike. No practicing psychotherapists were in the country for a for-mal Post Stress Traumatic Syndrome Treatment Process (PSTS) of any kind. Instead, traditional healers were doing a great deal of PSTS treatment following the war. Indeed, children soldiers, be-ing cared for by foreign NGOs, were frequently brought to traditional healers for therapy. Although there are no statistics on the number of cases treated, the Association of Traditional Healers of Mo-zambique, (AMETRAMO) stated, healers' workload of what was referred to as 'mental cases due to the war' had increased dramatically after the peace agreement. The process for treatment of these cases involves complex and lengthy rituals that vary from one ethnic group to another. However, they all have some features in common. These features include recognizing and accepting the atrocities committed or suffered from, asking forgiveness of the spirit of the victim or victims, as well as of their surviving family members, and compensating the victims or their families, usually with livestock or other goods. Similarities with western approaches to PSTS therapy were observed.

Lesson: There is great potential in local solutions in disaster and post conflict situations that can be made use of in disaster relief operations.

Source: Roberto Chavez, Resident Representative of the World Bank in Maputo from 1993 to 1997;Dr. James Gordon, director Center for Mind-Body Medicine.

Contact: rchavez@worldbank.org


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Burkina Faso: Mossi treatment of measles.

Mossi farmers from Boussou (Yatenga) treat measles with a remedy obtained by soaking chicken droppings in water. This is then filtered and mixed with millet or sorghum flour and then taken internally.

Lesson: Through trial and error traditional medicine has established the effectiveness of certain treatments, as in the case of measles treatment using poultry manure. This treatment may require further research.

Source: Henri Y. KABORE et Dieudonné NIKIEMA, INADES- Formation, ET. 48, janvier 1992, Ouagadougou,Burkina, « Les pratiques et savoirs paysans en matière de santé humaine dans le Département de Boussou (Province du Yatenga) » (Rapport d'étude).

Contact: emile_dialla@yahoo.fr


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Ethiopia: Illnesses of the lung are known and treated by traditional healers.

There are two types of healers in Ethiopian countryside: The bone setter called wogesha who treats fractures, and the medicine man or knowledgeable person called medihanit awakge (medihanit means medicine, awakge means wise) who treats other common illnesses and dispenses herbal remedies.The medihanit awakge provides herbal medicine to treat asthma. Asthma, is distinguished from colds, pneumonia, tuberculosis and other illnesses of the lung by Ethiopian (Amharic) traditional healers. Pneumonia is very common, associated with cold air exposure, and treated with cupping in the home. Tuberculosis or samba nkersa(samba means lungs, nkersa means cancer) is recognized as a more serious and severe illness, treated by isolation due to its communicability. There are no stigma or taboo associated with asthma. People are aware that one can die from asthma and although it is Occasionally seen among children, it is more common among the elderly. Children are also thought to grow out of their symptoms. The etiology of asthma is unclear. Some think it is contagious to some extent because it is associated with tuberculosis which is known to be communicable. Asthma is dealt with by changing residence and moving away from a climate or environment which makes it worse. It can also be prevented, according to the healers, by avoiding things that make it worse (dust, pollen). It is treated by using a special honey called tazma mar, also used for other types of cough. The healing secrets of the medihanit awakge are passed down from one generation to the next.

Lesson: Knowing traditional healers classification of some (respiratory) illnessses and their treatment may facilitate modern health workers' activities in rural communities.

Source: Lenna Liu, M.D. , University of Washington

Contact: nayachi@worldbank.org


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Senegal: Senegalese rural women abolish female circumcision in their community.

Women of Malicounda decided that the problem they wished to address was the custom of female circumcision - a pattern in Bambara/Mandingue and Pulaar communities, though not in those of the majority Wolof. By informing themselves on practices elsewhere and on the effects of circumcision on girls' health and sexual life, they developed an arsenal of arguments and eventually convinced the village council to abolish the practice officially. Not satisfied with this result, they subsequently created a team (including a few of their husbands won to the cause) in order to visit neighboring villages, speak to women there and help them win cases in their own communities. In January of 1998, a congress of 16 villages from the region - all of Bambara or Mandingue lineage - met to discuss the change in practices and adopt the"Declaration of Malicounda." Word of their initiative traveled to the Casamance region of southern Senegal, where another group of sixteen villages - these all of Pulaar lineage - banded together for a similar conference and declaration. In fact, Presi-dent Abdou Diouf of Senegal himself proposed the "Oath of Malicounda" as a model for national adoption.

Lesson: Mobilizing public opinion against the established order can help to modify discriminatory cultural practices.

Source: Peter Easton, Florida State University ( IK-Notes)

External Link: IK Notes No. 3  http://www.worldbank.org/afr/ik/iknt3.pdf

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org



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Burkina Faso: Community-managed pharmacies and clinics.

A network of community-managed pharmacies was created to make available basic medical supplies, spearhead health education efforts and began tracking information on disease incidence. The Cooperative League of the United States of America (CLUSA) provided training for the new duties. The administrative council of the network organized the training cooperatively with the elected by representatives of each participating community.  Indicators of health have taken a rapid turn for the better over the same period.

Lesson: Local ownership and control of health services increases their impact on public health.

Source: Florida State University, IK-Notes (to be published)

Contact: pmohan@worldbank.org


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Mali: Anti-venom is prepared according to a ritual that strengthens social cohesion.

The village of Diomana in the district of Niéna (Sikasso region), is the only one in Mali to be in possession of the secret of an antivenin powder. This antivenin is recognized as an efficient treatment of snake bites by the inhabitants of 80 neighboring villages, the regional capital city, Sikasso, as well as by local medical doctors and patients alike. This medicinal powder is obtained by processing tree barks, during a two-day annual ceremony attended by people from all over the region, and neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. During these two days, the tree barks are collected by a small group of initiated men from the village and are pounded in mortars by another group of initiated men.

Lesson: In addition to providing a treatment to snake bites, the ritual accompanying the preparation of this traditional medicine, constitutes a means to insure social cohesion.

Source: Association Malienne pour les Connaissances Traditionnelles (AMACOTRA) BPE 2666, ACI 2000 Avenue Cheikh Zayed, Bamako, Mali, Tel:(223) 29 1504

Contact: nayachi@worldbank.org



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Uganda: Traditional birth attendants contribute to reduction of maternal mortality.

The Rural Extended Services and Care for Ultimate Emergency Relief (RESCUER) pilot project launched in March 1996, in Iganga District, Uganda, with the UNFPA support, addresses the problem of high maternal mortality. The project helped empower a network of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA)to partner with the public health service centers (PHC) to deliver health care to pregnant women. This resulted in increased and more timely patient referrals as well as the delivery of health care to a larger number of pregnant women. Modern technology was used to enable the TBAs to refer patients to the PHCs. This involved the installation of a solar powered VHF radio communication system that included fixed base stations at the PHCs, mobile 'walkie talkies' with the TBAs, and vehicle radios in the referral hospital ambulances and the District Medical Officer's vehicle. A notable impact of the project was that Maternal mortality declined by more than 50% over a period of three years.

Lesson: Enabling and empowering Traditional Birth Attendants can increase the reach of public health services and reduce the incidence of maternal mortality

Source: The Challenge and opportunities of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the health sector by Maria G. N. Musoke, prepared for the African Development Forum (ADF) '99; Maria G. N. Musoke, Makerere University, Uganda

External Link: IK Notes 40

Contact: lip97mgm@sheffield.ac.uk


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Global Addresses of IK Centers


Addresses of IK Centers (PDF)

Link to the Addresses of Other IK Centers and CIRAN's IK-Pages
Nuffic/CIRAN IK Development Monitor and Addresses of Other IK Centers























Bank Projects with IK

Sri Lanka Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants Project
This was the first medicinal plant Bank/GEF funded project in 1998. The objective of the project is to conserve globally and nationally significant medicinal plants, their habitats, species, and genomes and promote their sustainable use in Sri Lanka. To date, the ethno-botanical and socio-economic surveys in project villages have been completed, and the forest survey is underway. An initial problem related to intellectual property rights (IPRs) was resolved by advertizing in national newspapers in all three official languages and holding consultative meetings with the public to ensure protection of IPR. A cause of concern has been the misconception of some project staff and in turn community members of project objectives and in particular that conservation is a moratorium on access to forest resources. This has still not been satisfactorily resolved between the Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) and IUCN, the executing agency.

Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants Project
The Project seeks to initiate support for conservation, management, and sustainable utilization of medicinal plants for human and livestock healthcare in Ethiopia. The project consists of three components. The first component will support strengthening institutional capacity of the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research (IBCR), developing human resources capacity of collaborating institutions for implementing project activities, establishing a medicinal plant field gene bank, and establishing a Project Coordinating Unit. The second component will support development of methods to collect, analyze, and interpret quantitative data on socio-economic benefits derived from medicinal plants used in human and livestock healthcare on a national level, ethno medical surveys to explore utilization of medicinal plants and traditional healthcare practices for prevention of HIV and mitigation of adverse impact of AIDS, and research on propagation of cultivation methods of selected commonly used medicinal plants for human and livestock. The third component funded by GEF will support in-situ conservation, management and sustainable use of medicinal plants in the Bale Mountains National Park and surrounding forests.

The Ghana Northern Savanna Biodiversity Conservation (NSBC) Project
The objective is to improve the environment, livelihood and health of communities through the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources including medicinal plants and agrobiodiversity. The global objective is to assist in the maintenance of the medicinal plant supply through conservation and cultivation and to preserve knowledge of their use in the home by women, healers, and pastoralists. In addition, funds will be provided to strengthen and upgrade the Ministry of Health's (MOH) Traditional Medicine Directorate. The recent enactment by parliament of a Traditional Medicine Practices Bill recognizes the important role traditional knowledge plays in providing primary healthcare.


The Eritrea Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECDP) Project

The project seeks to improve child health, child and maternal nutrition, early childhood education and care, support children facing difficult circumstances while strengthening institutional and sectoral capacity to deliver the above services in a sustainable manner. It seeks to support the phased expansion, quality enhancement and efficient implementation of existing activities on early childhood development that have proven to be successful and cost-effective, while ensuring that they are appropriately adapted to each community's context. In this regard, it will build on existing, proven programs and implementation structures in the country.

Use of the 'griot' network  to deliver  culturally congruent messages in prevention of HIV/AIDS in pilot locations of  West Africa IDF-Griots-AIDS-IK-ECOWAS (PDF)

 


 

 

 

ENDA is a consortium of active NGOs with a variety of activities related to IK and the above subjects.

ENDA (environnement et développement du tiers-monde)
4 & 5 Rue Kleber BP 3370
Dakar (Senegal)
Tel : (221-8) 22.42.29 / 21.60.27
Fax : (221-8) 22.26.95
E-mail : webmaster@enda.sn




Bank Sources

Indigenous Knowledge for Development Link to the Homepage of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

Database of Indigenous Knowledge and Practices Link to the Database of Practices of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

IK Notes Newsletter Link to the IK Notes of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

An Introduction to the
Microfinance Institutions Contact List

External Sources

Register for Best Practices in Indigenous Knowledge Link to the database of Best Practices of UNESCO

Nuffic/CIRAN IK Development Monitor and Addresses of Other IK Centers Link to the Addresses of Other IK Centers and CIRAN's IK-Pages

A collection of Bookmarks, specifically compiled for the event:(EFAlinks20000420.htm)

 Please send feedback or comments to rwoytek@worldbank.org

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.


IK Contribution Format

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

You could structure your contribution by using the following format:  

1. Country:Where is the practice applied (country and location)?

2. Domain:

In which sector is the practice applied (agriculture, health, social development etc.)?

3. Technology:

What technology (e.g. soil erosion control, childcare, institutional development etc.)?

4. Bearers of Knowledge:

By whom is the practice applied (e.g. Washambaa, local healers, women's group of a given village etc.)?

5. Source: Where can we inquire further?

 Primary provider information (probably yourself or your institution)

Secondary providers of information

Add references to literature, web sites, names of individuals or organizations that can corroborate the practice.

Include addresses of primary and secondary providers of information.

6. Descriptive headline of practice:

One to two lines capturing the main features of a practice.

7. Summary:

Describe the main features of the practice and explain (not more than 200 words).

8. Lessons:

Answer three key questions related to efficacy and impact of the practice.

 - Why it is important for the local community?

- Why might it be beneficial to other communities?

 - Why should development organizations learn more about this practice?

9. Methods used to capture information:

How was the practice identified, recorded and documented?

          

NB: The IK database is an open, on-line resource for information on indigenous knowledge practices. The database acts as a referral system and does not disclose the technical details of practices or applications. Most practices in the database have been reported elsewhere in publicly accessible information sources. As is the principle of a referral database the provider of information could be asked by users of the database to provide further information or pointers as regards details of the practice. It is to the discretion of the provider of information and the inquirer to negotiate the terms of the exchange of knowledge. No information provided will be made public without the consent of the provider.