Interfacing health care and innovation: Traditional medicinal knowledge in Nigeria

Gehl Sampath, Padmashree and Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji (2007). Interfacing health care and innovation: Traditional medicinal knowledge in Nigeria. International Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development, 6(2) pp. 103–121.



Traditional medicinal knowledge and related innovations are deeply embedded within the context of knowledge use and exchange of health services in developing countries. Traditional medicine systems cater to the health needs of a majority of people in the developing world, and there is a clear link between such practice and feedback innovations based on traditional medicinal knowledge. Understanding these interlinkages calls for an interface between innovation systems and health systems, and this is perhaps why this issue has not received the kind of attention it deserves in either strands of literature. This paper uses field level data collected during a survey of the biopharmaceutical innovation system in Nigeria in 2003–2004 to highlight these interlinkages. By way of results obtained in the survey, it derives the scope for policy intervention in order to harness the role of traditional medicinal knowledge for both biopharmaceutical innovation and health care infrastructure in Nigeria.

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