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The opportunities and challenges for cooperation between contemporary and traditional health practices under the National Health System in Tanzania

Gellejah, Richard S.


Richard S. Gellejah


Kathleen Galvin

Julie Seymour


In response to the increased popularity and use of Traditional/Complementary Alternative Medicine, not only in less-developed countries where it is a first line of contact for the majority of people but also in developed countries, initiation of Integrative Medicine Clinics has been triggered particularly in Western countries. In addition, there are increased opportunities of research and associated criticism on the subject. Whereas such investigations have provided some interesting understandings on how the integrative clinics are managed, surprisingly, many of the investigations have been carried out in developed countries where biomedicine is affordable and accessible for the majority of people. There is a dearth of information about the opportunities and challenges for contemporary and traditional health practices to work together in less-developed countries where accessibility and affordability of modern medicine is a huge challenge. The objective of this thesis then was to offer some exploratory perceptions into how key stakeholders of health in Tanzania recognize the opportunities and challenges that are there for the two health practices to integrate under the National Health System.

An ethnographic stance was utilised to explore the views of 35 participants from four regions in Tanzania, among whom were biomedical and traditional practitioners, policy-makers, and religious leaders; researchers of traditional medicine from two national research institutes, participants with multiple roles and clients of the two practices. In-depth, semi-structured interview was the main method of data generation. Data was analysed thematically, from which the study revealed that despite the potential opportunities for the two practices to work together, integration of the two practices cannot take place due to emergence of two schools of thought of traditionalism and modernity that were irreconcilable. Instead cooperation is possible under the framework of Negotiated Order Theory that feeds three processes of Integration and Differentiation, Hybridization of Traditional Medicine and Negotiating Modernity.


Gellejah, R. S. (2016). The opportunities and challenges for cooperation between contemporary and traditional health practices under the National Health System in Tanzania. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 10, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Health studies
Public URL
Additional Information Faculty of Health and Social Care, The University of Hull
Award Date Oct 1, 2016


Thesis (2.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2016 Gellejah, Richard S. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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