Symposium Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Africa

Mount Kenya University (Kigali), in collaboration with The Department of Science and Technology-National Research Foundation Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), the Africa Programme-UN University for Peace (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), University of Dar es Salaam (IKS Working Group, Tanzania), University of South Africa (Public Health) and the University of Rwanda (Rwanda) invite abstracts for papers to be presented at the International Symposium on Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Public Health Care in Eastern and Southern Africa under the Theme: Enriching Public Health Equity and Leadership Through Indigenous Knowledge Systems. The Symposium will be held in Kigali, Rwanda on 25 – 26 April 2016.
The United Nations Human Rights Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasize that access to healthcare is a human right imperative. However, in spite of the progress made in the provision of health care in areas such as clean water, sanitation, and reduction in communicable diseases such as South Africa, Botswana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, most Eastern and Southern Africa countries, are still faced with the challenges of ensuring public health equity and leadership. For the purpose of this symposium equity in health care refers to the absence of systematic disparities in health between social groups with different levels of wealth, power, or prestige. Whereas health care leadership is the availability of a critical mass of health care workforce with skills, knowledge and commitment to cope with frequent organizational change and act as role models at all levels of health care provision.
Most of the Eastern and Southern African countries are faced with challenges of public health funding becoming increasingly insufficient as most of them are at the mercy of the donor community. The required period of research and development for conventional medicines makes modern medicines costly and healthcare inaccessible to a large proportion of the population. This is compounded by the lack of proper information and health care provided by unmotivated and underpaid health care workers at community level.Thus many countries in these regions are seeking alternative ways to public health equity. One of these solutions is the integration of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS)-based health care services into the current national health care system.

There is a growing recognition that traditional health care providers such as traditional healers and traditional midwives remain the true community health care workers in their communities and invariably have the confidence of their communities. The preference to consult traditional healthcare practitioners is also attributed to the time taken to communicate in an understandable and sympathetic way. Moreover, IKS-based health care services are holistic as they consider the physiological, psychological, spiritual, economic, environmental and social aspects of health. This is in line with the principles of primary health care, namely, equity, community participation, inter-sectoral approach, appropriate methods and health promotion and prevention.
The WHO Regional Committee for Africa adopted a resolution in the year 2000 on Promoting the Role of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems: a Strategy for the African Region. The resolution recognized the importance and potential of traditional medicine for the achievement of Health for All in the African Region. The African heads of states and Governments declared 2001-2010 as the Decade for African Traditional Medicine. In a recent meeting of African Health Ministries, they have extended the period from 2011-2020 as the 2nd decade for African Traditional Medicine.

One of the major challenges in achieving the goals of health equity in the Eastern and Southern African countries is lack of a cadre of skilful public health leaders who embrace the virtues of inter-disciplinarity in a poly-epistemic world where knowledge systems are complementary rather than competitive.

This international symposium on Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Public Health Care in Eastern and Southern Africa is an initiative of the partner institutions to enrich the public health equity and leadership discourse in the two regions through the integration of IKS-based health care systems.

Specific Objectives of the Symposium

  • To create a platform to forge strategic networks and partnerships among various stakeholders including conventional – and IKS-based practitioners;
  • To facilitate the integration of IKS-based health care systems into the national and regional health care systems;
  • To facilitate the development of a communication and advocacy strategy for the integration of IKS-based health care systems into the national and regional health care systems;
  • To facilitate the development of an IKS-led public health scholarship in terms of research, education and training;
  • To facilitate the integration of gender into IKS-led public health care.

Symposium Sub-themes

All sub-themes should be addressed in the context of IKS-based Public Healthcare systems.

  • Public Health Care Communication and Advocacy Systems including role of Folk-media
  • Public Health Care Financing Systems
  • Innovations and Interfacing of Knowledge Systems for Public Health Care Equity and Leadership
  • Human Capital Development Health Care Equity and Leadership
  • Partnership Building for HealthCare Equity and Leadership
  • Research and Development in Indigenous Knowledge -based Health Care Systems
  • Gender and Indigenous Knowledge -based Health Care Systems
  • Comparative Breastfeeding Practices in Public Health Care Systems
  • Development of an IKS-led public health scholarship (research, education and training)
  • Climate Change and Impact on Health Care Equity and Leadership
  • Commercialisation of Public Health Care and Impact on Equity
  • Environmental Governance for Public Health Equity and Leadership
  • Traditional Medicine and Public Health Equity
  • Business and Industry for Public Health Equity and Leadership
  • Indigenous Knowledge -based Health Care Systems and Communicable Diseases

Who Should Attend

All public health sectors stakeholders:

  • Policy makers
  • Researchers
  • Donor Agencies
  • Organized Civil Society
  • Academics
  • Students
  • NGOs
  • Business and Industry

Submission Dates

  • Submission of Abstracts : Friday, 29 February 2016
  • Notification of selected papers: Friday, 4 March 2016
  • Submission of final papers by: Thursday, 31 March 2016

Weblink for Registration.

Abstract Submission Guidelines

  • Abstract –150-200 words.
  • A brief overview of the paper, its theme, and purpose. Development of your topic. What are the primary or related issues? Why is this topic important? Include historical or theoretical background or reference current debate, if relevant. Current or proposed solutions. Examples of model practice, ideas, or programs. Practical ideas that can be implemented on other areas are especially helpful.

Paper Submission Guidelines

  • Language: All manuscripts must be written in British English. Manuscripts submitted in American English will be edited for consistency.
  • Length: Finished manuscripts should be between 6.000-7.000 words, including references. This will be somewhere between 20-25 single-sided, double-spaced manuscript pages. Papers exceeding 7.000 words will be edited to length.
  • Style: For referencing use the Harvard style: Coveney, M., Ganster, S. & King, D., 2003, The strategy gap: Leveraging technology to execute winning strategies, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J.
    Lamb, R. & Kling, R., 2003, ‘Reconceptualizing users as social actors in information systems research’, MIS Quarterly 27(2), 197.
  • Suggested Paper Outline: While the content and purpose of the chapter will ultimately dictate the arrangement of the material, we offer the following paper structure as a starting place. Keep this and any specific requests from the symposium organizers in mind as you draft the paper.
  • Introduction and paper “map”: A brief overview of the paper, its theme, and purpose.
  • Development of your topic: What are the primary or related issues? Why is this topic important? Include historical or theoretical background or reference current debate, if relevant.
  • Current or proposed solutions: Examples of model practice, ideas, or programs. Practical ideas that can be implemented on other areas are especially helpful. Conclusions and recommendations to readers.
  • Tables, Figures, Appendices: In some cases, you may find that tables, figures, or appendices are needed to fully develop a topic or make it more accessible to the reader. However the use of tables and figures should be limited. All tables, figures, and appendices should be appropriately referenced in the text and submitted with the manuscript for editorial review. While tables and figures may be embedded in the text, they should also be sent as separate files in the program in which they were created (e.g., Excel) so that they can be reformatted, if necessary, during the final production process.
  • Quotes and Extracts: All material taken from previously published sources—whether quoted directly or paraphrased—should be appropriately cited in the text and be accompanied by a corresponding citation in the reference list. Quotes of more than 40 words are treated as blocks. Extracts of 300 words or more require the permission of the copyright holder to be included. Similarly, figures or tables that are reprinted from previously published work require the permission of the copyright holder to be included. You are responsible for securing the necessary permissions for such material.
  • Authorship: Authors should include full names, brief biography (with institutional affiliation, and contact details, including mailing address and telephone number. The editors reserve the right to alter all manuscripts to conform to the guidelines to improve accuracy, eliminate mistakes and ambiguity, and to bring the manuscript in line with the tenets of plain English language.

Contact:

For submissions and any clarifications please refer to the following contact persons:
Conference Organisers:
Dr Petrida Ijumba and Dr Mayashree Chinsamy: iksinfo2@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join PHASA

Be part of our network of leaders and innovators.

Join now