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In Biomedical Hegemony and Democracy in South Africa Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta and Tabi Chama-James Tabenyang unpack the contentious South African government’s post-apartheid policy framework of the ‘‘return to tradition policy’’. The conjuncture between deep sociopolitical crises, witchcraft, the ravaging HIV/AIDS pandemic and the government’s initial reluctance to adopt antiretroviral therapy turned away desperate HIV/AIDS patients to traditional healers.

Drawing on historical sources, policy documents and ethnographic interviews, Pemunta and Tabenyang convincingly demonstrate that despite biomedical hegemony, patients and members of their therapy seeking group often shuttle between modern and traditional medicine thereby making both systems of healthcare complementary rather than alternatives. They draw the attention of policy-makers to the need to be aware of ‘‘subaltern health narratives’’ in designing health policy.