Side Effects of the Coexistence of Tradition Medicine with Biomedicine in Primary Health Service Delivery in Rural Areas of Tanzania
It is approximated that 60-80 per cent of Tanzanians use Traditional Medicine (TM) as their primary source of health services alongside biomedical services. However, there is little information on the side effects of the co-existence of TM with biomedical system to primary health services delivery in Tanzania. By using Helmke and Levitsky’s Model of co-existence of formal and informal institutions in comparative politics, this article argues that the coexistence of TM and biomedicine undermine the delivery of primary health services in rural areas of Tanzania due to abrupt stoppage of using biomedicine among users, concurrent use of TM and biomedicine services, poor environment where Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) practice and selling of counterfeit medicine to the people. The study was carried out in Bukoba District of Tanzania, data were collected through observations, documentary review and interviews which were qualitatively analysed. The study involved 11 THPs, 30 household respondents, four (4) key respondents and five (5) biomedical practitioners who were purposively included in the study. Findings of the study call for the Government to register THPs who provide services to people while they are unregistered and to provide education on proper usage of TM among health services users in rural areas.