Briefing Paper

Traditional Healers and Their Provision of Mental Health Services in Cosmopolitan Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya

One of the major challenges for the Government is the provision of health services for its people, which is a basic need. However, Kenya just like other developing economies is generally constrained by lack of sufficient resources to sustain this demand. Traditional medicine in all its form was the only mode of treatment in Kenya for the various communities before the white man came to Kenya. It was as it is practiced in various forms; for example,
use of herbs, animal parts, divination and others. This traditional knowledge can be protected for the benefit of mankind in general and in particular the communities in question. However, there are no policies in place for such protection. Also, the individual healers do not appear
to be aware of the need to protect their traditional knowledge.”