Law and Humanities
Published: 19 August 2022
A Survey of Kenya’s Policies, Institutional Arrangements and Legislation on Traditional Medicine
Sifuna & Sifuna Advocates
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Keywords: A Survey, Kenya, Policies, Institutional Arrangements, Legislative Framework, Traditional Medicine
Traditional medicine (also called ethno-medicine) is indigenous medicine based on traditional medicinal knowledge systems and passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation within the particular indigenous community, especially along familial lines as well as through informal apprenticeships; and which is largely undocumented. For a long time Kenya lacked policies, institutional arrangements and legislation on traditional medicine. Years later that scenario has changed, as the country now has an extensive policy framework and institutional arrangements on traditional medicine, comprising an avalanche of policies and institutional arrangements on the subject. It also has an extensive corresponding legislative framework comprising several pieces of legislation that are scattered over several sectors and line ministries and touching on one or other aspect of traditional medicine. New policies have been made, new legislation promulgated, and some of the then existing legislation amended. The earlier situation, and which has as already stated changed, was perhaps attributable to the nascent stage of traditional medicine policy and legislation at the time. With the effluxion of time, there have been marked developments in Kenya’s policies , institutional arrangements, and legislation on the subject. Notably however, although the effective operation of these institutional arrangements together with that of these scattered pieces of legislation can to some extent promote or impact positively on traditional medicine, they are bedeviled by lack of coordination and harmonization. This paper makes recommendations that if implemented can provide the much-needed coordination and harmonization in Kenya’s policies, institutional arrangements and legislation to ensure effective management and development of traditional medicine.
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