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The relationship between Indigenous and allopathic health practitioners in Africa and its implications for collaboration: a qualitative synthesis

Oseni, Z; Shannon, G; (2020) The relationship between Indigenous and allopathic health practitioners in Africa and its implications for collaboration: a qualitative synthesis. Global Health Action , 13 (1) , Article 1838241. 10.1080/16549716.2020.1838241. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: There have been increasing calls for collaboration between Indigenous health practitioners (IHPs) and allopathic health practitioners (AHPs) in Africa. Despite this, very few successful systems exist to facilitate formal collaboration. Direct relationships between providers, and at a health systems level are crucial to successful collaboration, but the nature and extent of these relationships have yet to be adequately explored. OBJECTIVE: To explore the relationship between IHPs and AHPs in Africa, and to discuss the implications of this for future collaboration. METHODS: An interpretive qualitative synthesis approach, combining elements of thematic analysis, meta-ethnography, and grounded theory, was used to systematically bring together findings of qualitative studies addressing the topic of collaboration between Indigenous and allopathic health practitioners in Africa. RESULTS: A total of 1,765 papers were initially identified, 1,748 were excluded after abstract, full text and duplicate screening. Five additional studies were identified through references. Thus, 22 papers were included in the final analysis. We found that the relationship between Indigenous and allopathic health practitioners is defined by a power struggle which gives rise to lack of mutual understanding, rivalry, distrust, and disrespect. CONCLUSION: The power struggle which defines the relationship between IHPs and AHPs in Africa is a hindrance to their collaboration and as such could partly account for the limited success of efforts to foster collaboration to date. Future efforts to foster collaboration between IHPs and AHPs in Africa must aim to balance the power disparity between them if collaboration is to be successful. Since this would be a novel approach, decision-makers and organisations who trial this power balancing approach to facilitate collaboration should evaluate resultant policies and interventions to ascertain their feasibility and efficacy in fostering collaboration, and the lessons learnt should be shared.

Type: Article
Title: The relationship between Indigenous and allopathic health practitioners in Africa and its implications for collaboration: a qualitative synthesis
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2020.1838241
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16549716.2020.1838241
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Biomedicine and traditional medicine, modern medicine and traditional medicine, qualitative interpretive synthesis, western medicine and traditional medicine
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115400
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