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July 2021

Soc Sci Med. 1987 ; 25(7): 803-11.

Availability, accessibility, acceptability, and adaptability: four attributes of African ethno-medicine.

Anyinam C.

Department of Geography, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Many years of ethno-medical research in Africa have increased our knowledge of different aspects of indigenous medical systems. Like any other cultural system, indigenous medical systems have been undergoing changes over the years as African countries continue to experience tremendous alterations in their ecological systems, socio-economic activities, political and cultural life. These changes have had some impact on the practice of indigenous medicine in many parts of Africa. Compared with bio-medical services, ethno-medicine is usually characterized as more available, accessible, acceptable, and adaptable. This paper seeks to draw attention to the need to re-examine these attributes as applied to ethno-medical practices in contemporary Africa in view of the present rate of social change in most African countries.

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