The fourteen upper-level professions analyzed were as follows: social workers, biologists, biomedical doctors
, dental surgeons (orthodontists or dentists), professionals in physical education, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapist, speech pathologists, doctors, veterinary doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, and occupational therapists.
Biomedical doctors' pronouncements adhere to the ethical demands of formal training, while ordinary people form their own moral ideas about biomedicine, with the two discourses meeting only during medical-moral crises.
Indigenous healers in Eastern Africa share some characteristics with biomedical doctors. Doctors are professionally subject to the Hippocratic oath, but healers also observe a similar professional ethic, as in the mutually understood obligation to treat people who are not immediately able to pay the required fee, an obligation that is underwritten in the ethical code of professional associations to which many healers belong.
This obligation may be less acute than that experienced by biomedical doctors in the face of their professional body, but it is recognized and expressed--just as, conversely, is their recognition of the threatening power of Wahhabism.
Guduci, a widely renowned herb considered both bitter and strengthening (an unusual combination in Ayurveda, if not in Western Herbalism), is hailed as an "immunomodulator (9)." Never mind that this term itself is vague (in what way is the immune system being modulated?) and would likely be regarded with skepticism by many biomedical doctors
, at least in the medically less pluralistic West.
Finally, since men tend to consult THPs before biomedical doctors
(particularly regarding STI symptoms), this reality, together with the benefits already described, should support women in their struggle for access to testing and treatment.
The doctor's note that lets employees take a few days off work is the latest glitch in efforts to bring together under one umbrella organisation South Africa's traditional healers and biomedical doctors.
A fear that has kept many African governments from allowing traditional healers the same status as biomedical doctors is the additional spending state health services would have to foot, and the flood of patients referred by healers hospitals and clinics would have to accommodate.
Lacking such scientific data, most biomedical doctors
practicing in the Caribbean do not support the use of herbal remedies.