Learning and enabling others to learn: reflection on experience of traditional herbalists in Kamuli District Uganda.
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Learning among traditional herbalists is still a myth though there is increasing number of them in the country. This is because there is no recognized institution that trains traditional herbalists yet we all see that they have knowledge, skills and experience in treating different diseases just like the western doctors who are trained for five years in different institutions and Universities. This study presents findings of research on how traditional herbalists acquire and transmit knowledge about their practices. The study was conducted in three villages of Nabirumba, Bwoko and Buwanume, found in Nabwigulu sub county Kamuli district. The main aim was to find out how traditional herbalists acquire and transmit knowledge to others about their practice. The main respondents were traditional herbalists in Nabwigulu sub county. Other respondents included community members and local leaders. Data was collected using numerous techniques such as in-depth interviews, Focused Group Discussions, Key informant interviews, document review and observation. The main findings showed that traditional herbalists learn through apprenticeship which is through two ways of vertical transmission where they learn from their parents and grandparents and also horizontal transmission where they learn from other people of different family background. It also showed different diseases treated by traditional herbalists which included biomedical diseases, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Psychological diseases among others and difficulties encountered by traditional herbalists in their practice of herbalism. The study concluded that learning among traditional herbalists is more of formal and non-formal learning though they don’t have enough literature that they can refer to while learning. The study recommended that a lot of books should be written by researchers about learning among traditional herbalists which can help them during learning.