Doing Development in West Africa: A Reader by and for Undergraduates
Counterintuitively, rural medicines proliferate in Togo’s capital city, Lomé. They are sold on street corners, in market stalls, and by itinerant vendors in neighborhoods. Market women and civil servants alike, and 100 percent of those interviewed, used herbal medicines routinely while also relying on pharmaceuticals. Not only are herbal treatments cheaper and more accessible, but they also often are just as effective as biomedicine. This chapter explores traditional medicine use in Lomé by asking who uses these medicines more than pharmaceuticals, for which maladies, and for what reasons. Obstacles remain in facilitating the easy coexistence of the two, and the essay concludes with suggestions for how to better promote collaboration.