Indigenous healing in contemporary Kenya

This research project looked at the ethnographically-informed study of herbal, spiritual and alternative forms of healing in Kenya.

Conducted in one urban and one rural study site, the research examined how people made decisions regarding the uses of medicines for themselves and their livestock.  By using interviews, focus group discussions, conversation and photography, Dr Howland constructed an understanding of the daily realities for people when they or their livestock get sick. The study allowed for a detailed insight into decision making, perceptions and ethnobotanical knowledge in contemporary Kenya.

Indigenous healing is an important way in which Kenyans, both in urban and rural settings, access healthcare for themselves and their animals. Issues of counterfeit biomedicines have led to broad mistrust and people favour indigenous healing, depending on the illness or severity of symptoms. Indigenous healing is a vital way in which people in underserved rural and urban populations access care.

This study is now complete. You can find the published paper here.