Long and winding roads: The transfer of Chinese medical practices to African contexts
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Kadetz, P. (2022) 'Long and winding roads: The transfer of Chinese medical practices to African contexts', in V. Lo, M. Stanley-Baker and D. Yang (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Chinese Medicine. London: Routledge, pp. 599-612.
This chapter delineates the many winding roads along which Chinese medical practices have been transplanted to African contexts. Bilateral, multilateral, and global political economic forces lay at the heart of many of these influential factors. Chinese medical teams, sent as part of China’s health aid to African countries, have probably been one of the largest sources of both state and popular acceptance of Chinese medical practices throughout Africa; though this introduction has often been followed by non-state (private) Chinese entrepreneurial migrants who practise acupuncture and/or sell Chinese medicinal formulæ. Furthermore, the global endorsement by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the Chinese herb, qinghao 青蒿 (artemisia annua), and its synthesised compound artemisinin, as an anti-malarial, has proved to be particularly important in African contexts beleaguered by malaria. The case example of Madagascar illustrates how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines, introduced by visiting Chinese medical teams, have been popularised due to their low cost, perceived effectiveness, and adaptability to local contexts.