Diverse medications



Several medicines are available for treating illness. Medications can treat diseases and improve your health. These medicines may be western or traditional. At some point in your life, you may need to take drugs once in a while or every day.

Western Medicine 

Western medicine is defined as the use of orthodox medicine, which mainly derives from Greece and uses scientific knowledge as the primary source of trusted information. The leading figures within the application and use of Western Medicine include doctors, nurses and therapists. Therefore, the use of Western Medicine is a dominating system which has been adopted throughout multiple cultures on an international scale. However, the use of Western medicine has received widespread criticism and revisionism, with alternative medicine being taken into consideration. This includes Eastern medicine which utilises acupuncture and holistic healing as modes of healthcare, and African traditional medicine, which derives from indigenous cultures. 

African Traditional Medicine 

Traditional medicine is defined as using herbal medicine and divination to diagnose and treat illnesses. This Afrocentric mode of healthcare has been utilised mainly in indigenous cultures and is inherited from a long history of the use of African Traditional Medicine. A significant factor differentiating African Traditional Medicine and Western medical modes is that the patient’s spirituality is considered upon consultation. This is carried out by seeking spiritual information regarding the patient’s illness. An existing and long-lasting controversy within the use of African Traditional Medicine is the scientific approval of the use of herbal medicine to treat diseases. The World Health Organization has accounted for the benefit of African Traditional medicine in Africa to be at a rate of 80% to date. This is due to accessibility and an affordable mode of seeking medical help instead of relying on Western Medicine. 

Traditional Healers

Recognising figureheads of Traditional medicine, predominantly Traditional Healers of African parentage, is essential. These persons are called “Sangomas” in the South African context or “Babalawo” amongst the Yoruba in Nigeria. The work of Traditional healers as arbitrators within African communities, the underworld and the living world has increasingly gained momentum and recognition internationally. The World Health Organization Global Centre for Traditional Medicine constitutes and facilitates ideologies and incentives to integrate and accommodate the growing need for Traditional Medicine amongst humans.  

A change in culture

Leading figures such as Credo Muthwa have formulated healing solutions for incurable diseases such as HIV and Aids through a “Suderlandia Fructosate” plant. This has presented difficulty for the potential of Western Medicine as options have increasingly broadened up for humans. Efforts to collaborate among the different approaches to healing have become popularized to partake in integrated treatment. In addition, the perpetuated perception of medicine outside of Western Medicine as witchcraft remains a cultural problem which is essential in transforming the status quo through education. 


Lebogang Letwaba


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