ISBN 9789789210886
Pages 390
Dimensions 210 x 148 mm
Published 2015
Publisher BookBuilders Editions Africa, Nigeria
Format Paperback

Science Interrogating Belief

Bridging the Old and New Traditions of Medicine in Africa

by David Okpako

Traditional African medicine (TAM) is an ancient healing art. In this wide-ranging study, the author presents an interpretation of the beliefs that constitute the theoretical framework for TAM practices. He concludes that the beliefs share many characteristics with modern medical theory, but there are significant differences from the latter which reflect the African experience. Fever, malaria and plant remedies, have one common denominator i.e. the biological phenomenon known as inflammation. This is the backbone of the hypothesis put forward in the second half of the book. In traditional African societies malaria was successfully cured with plant remedies which suppressed malaria-induced inflammation; because the people had significant immunity against the disease, the causative plasmodium parasite was eliminated by the host’s body. How indigenous plant remedies can now be used to minimize malaria drug resistance is outlined, and an Africa-centered approach to malaria control is advocated, taking  into account the African’s intrinsic protective immunity and his extensive knowledge of anti-fever plant remedies.

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About the Author

David Okpako

David Okpako attended primary schools at Owahwa, and Oginibo in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State Nigeria; his secondary schools were Baptist High School, Port Harcourt and Urhobo College Effurun. He went on to study Pharmacy at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology Ibadan, and London and Bradford universities in the United Kingdom, gaining the PhD in pharmacology in December 1967. After a postdoctoral MRC fellowship at University College London, he returned to Nigeria in 1968 and taught first at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, and from 1969 till retirement in 1990, at the University of Ibadan where he was promoted to professor of pharmacology in October 1977. In recent years, Professor Okpako has given expression in his writings to the idea that solutions to some of Africa’s development problems are to be found, not in the Euro-American models frequently adopted by Africa’s educated elite, but in knowledge and experience embedded in traditional African institutions.