Traditional medicine (TM) is an important source of care for most poor people. Aware of this role, most African countries have developed national policies to give legal status to TM and its practitioners. Currently, at least 30,000 people practice TM in Burkina Faso. However, few, particularly women, have licenses to practice TM. This paper presents the results of a pilot project that aimed at accompanying the traditional women healers from Sanmatenga province in obtaining licenses. The application for TM practice includes personal attested documents and ethnomedical evidence or proof of efficacy of the traditional product. To assess the ethnomedical evidence, the traditional healer is monitored by a nurse over a four-month period during which the nurse follows patients receiving the traditional treatment. The nurse investigates the work of the traditional healer and its final report includes its opinion on the traditional healer and the number of patients followed, cured or lost after treatment with the traditional product. Perceptions of different stakeholders regarding the intervention were obtained through unstructured interviews. 60 traditional women healers were selected from three health districts of the province of Sanmatenga. They were followed by 10 nurses. Currently, about 37% of traditional women healers are licensed. Findings showed that the different stakeholders welcomed the intervention and made recommendations to strengthen this relationship. Thus, strengthening the capacities of traditional healers as well as the collaboration with conventional medicine practitioners contribute to build stronger healthcare systems.
Key words: Traditional medicine, traditional women healer, conventional medicine, license, ethnomedical evidence, healthcare system.
TM, Traditional Medicine; CM, Conventional Medicine; CMP, Conventional Medicine Practitioners.
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