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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (11): 1165-1169.doi: 10.3736/jcim20111102

• Medical Education • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Should complementary and alternative medicine familiarisation modules be taught in African medical schools?

Oluwole Busayo Akinola()   

  1. Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Received:2011-07-02 Accepted:2011-09-02 Online:2011-11-20 Published:2011-11-15

Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are household sources of therapy in African communities. A large percentage of the African population uses CAMs as an alternative to mainstream medicine. This is partly due to tradition, and partly because of inability to afford conventional treatments. In the developed countries, the use of CAMs is gradually on the increase. As a result, certain medical schools in these countries are incorporating CAM familiarisation modules into their undergraduate medical curricula. In Africa, most medical schools have not taught CAM yet. However, in view of the rising use of CAMs by the African populace, and the potential CAM-conventional therapy interactions, there is the need for physicians to get familiar with those CAMs in common use. To achieve this, it is recommended that African medical schools introduce CAM familiarization modules into the undergraduate medical curricula. This would fully prepare the 21st century doctors to deliver holistic medical treatment, and thus be at par with the global trend.

Key words: education, medical, complementary therapies, Africa

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