Transferring Health Technology to South Africa: The Importance of Traditional African Culture
The transfer of new health technology to South Africa is occurring despite the fact that North American and European health care planners and entrepreneurs have a very limited understanding of traditional Black South African cultures which condition the health-related behaviors of the majority of the population. Consequently, relatively few people of African descent in this very diverse nation are, at least initially, benefiting from the new imported medical technology. This study gives an overview of traditional Black medicine in South Africa and, through the presentation of several case studies, discusses its implications for the societal adoption of new health technology received from the United States and other industrialized nations. The example of the successful application of cervical cancer exams in rural and urban clinics of the Eastern Cape is analyzed and institutional mechanisms that support successful transfer are identified. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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