In 2001 and 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002-2005 and 2014-2023, respectively, to address policy, ethics, quality, and integration of complementary health therapies (CHT). Despite the adoption of these strategic frameworks, sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries largely run dualistic and inclusive health care system. A recent article published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice analyzed the role of practicing nurses in CHT integration and intercultural health in an SSA country setting. Drawing on the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Health Belief Questionnaire, the study specifically examined nurses’ knowledge, practices, and attitudes toward CHT. The study revealed that nurses had low knowledge about CHT, which reflected in their ineptitude to engage in professional practices of CHT. In spite of the knowledge deficit, nurses generally held favorable attitudes toward CHT and the majority supported the need for “safe” and evidence-based integrative model. Efforts to improve CHT-related knowledge of nurses may enhance medical integration in SSA. This commentary proposes novel political will and investment in CHT education and research as well as an inclusion of CHT modules in the nurses’ training programs; viabilities to achieve intercultural health and improved care in SSA.
- complementary health therapies
- intercultural health
- medical integration
- nurses’ knowledge
- sub-Saharan Africa