Accepted paper:

Using indigenous knowledge to promote health in resource constrained settings: a case of Mberengwa South Constituency in Zimbabwe


Kemist Shumba (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Paper short abstract:

The paper uses Habermas' structure-agency theory to explore the effectiveness of Shona-Karanga traditional game and play song and concepts in promoting health and well-being in resource constrained settings in Zimbabwe.

Paper long abstract:

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Formerly christened "The Jewel of Southern Africa", the country has for the past two decades been on global news headlines because of hyper-inflation resulting from the rule of former President Robert Mugabe who implemented a controversial land reform programme that severely crippled the country's agricultural sector. Due to the attendant economic doldrums, coupled with a political quandary precipitated by the cataclysmic, and allegedly despotic rule of former President Robert Mugabe, the country's once vibrant health delivery system totally collapsed. Health facilities suffered a major blow as health personnel left in search of "greener pastures" as their remuneration got severely eroded and working conditions became dire, with no critical supplies in health facilities including drugs and equipment. Zimbabwe situation continues to pose challenges to the country's public health delivery system. Premised on Habermas' theory of structure-agency, this proposed study will use qualitative interviews to elicit the views of members belonging to a WhatsApp group "South Group Inc." regarding efforts to improve health delivery in the Mberengwa South Constituency. The group comprises volunteers in Zimbabwe and the diaspora using traditional game and play song "Dudu-mudiri Kacheee" to mobilise resources to improve health delivery in this resource constrained setting. Our aim is to critically examine the nuances of a traditional song and indigenous concepts in driving development and promoting health and well-being. Data will be collected through analysing WhatsApp chats and conducting in-depth interviews with group administrators. Findings will be analysed using thematic analysis.

panel O3
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