A Legal Perspective on African Traditional Medicine in South Africa

Le Roux-Kemp, Andra (2010) A Legal Perspective on African Traditional Medicine in South Africa. Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, 43 (3). pp. 273-291. ISSN 0010-4051

Full content URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/23253084

A Legal Perspective on African Traditional Medicine in South Africa
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In this article, the regulation of African Traditional Medicine (ATM) is considered in terms of the law and the national health system of South Africa, and with specific reference to HIV/AIDS. The level of recognition that ATM enjoys in the legal and healthcare systems at present is discussed and juxtaposed against the regulation of traditional medical practices in other African countries. The light in which these practises are viewed by indigenous peoples is also considered. The legal perspective(s) highlighted are analysed against the background of African governments ́ strategies to promote and preserve indigenous knowledge. Reference will consequently be made to the South African government ́s efforts to preserve (and promote) indigenous knowledge in the context of traditional medicine. A secondary theme is the existing competing discourses on HIV/AIDS and ATM in sub-Saharan Africa – ie how HIV/AIDS and ATM are generally perceived. It will be shown that specific discourses and perceptions hinder a true realisation of health rights for those infected with HIV/AIDS and also bar the full recognition and regulation of ATM practices. I argue for greater recognition for and regulation of ATM in South Africa’s legal and national health systems especially when considering the potential positive impact of ATM therapeutic properties in the context of HIV/AIDS.

Keywords:African Traditional Medicine, South Africa, Indigenous Knowledge, Healthcare Systems
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B990 Subjects Allied to Medicine not elsewhere classified
M Law > M190 Law by Area not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:36607
Deposited On:19 Aug 2019 09:38

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