The University of Arizona

WHO guidelines challenged in Botswana: traditional medicine between healing, politics and witchcraft

Klaus Geiselhart


The World Health Organization (WHO) supports integrating traditional health care into national health systems. The reasons why this is not happening in Botswana are manifold, complex and not always rational. Traditional healers demand the right to practice their techniques and organize themselves with an emancipatory political claim, but they are unsuccessful. Based on a political ecology of health perspective combined with assemblage thinking, this article explores discourses and historical lines of development in order to show how Christian morality, the dualism between tradition and modernity and the introduction of a modern public health system are intertwined with belief in witchcraft that clandestinely hampers development.

Full Text: