The Interaction Between Indigenous & Biomedical healing Systems among the Shinasha
This study aims at exploring the interaction between the indigenous and biomedical healing systems as well as the professionals working in both healing systems. Drawing on qualitative research approach, the study employed primary and secondary data collection methods. Primary data were gathered through informal conversation, in- depth interviewing of indigenous herbalists and, health extension workers and health officer, focus group discussion with selected community members and herbalists, and systematic observation. Secondary data were collected through critical review of related literature and documents. Both primary and secondary data were organized thematically and were analyzed through systematic interpretation and cross- checking of the different data sources through the use of triangulation to increase the validity and reliability of the findings. The study found that the Shinasha consider their knowledge of herbal medicine to be the gift of God for them. In the study area, herbal medicinal practitioners are males. The medical ethics of the Shinasha is based on non- commercial (at least in principle) use of medicines which is one point of departure with biomedicine, where treatment is usually exchanged for money. So, herbal medicinal knowledge and healing is considered as a moral profession to help and serve people. The study findings also indicated that the Shinasha practice healthcare and healing for illnesses of natural, supernatural, and personal etiology through popular healthcare practices, the indigenous healing system, and the biomedical healing system. Shifts from one healthcare option to the other and resorts are common among the Shinasha. In the study area, the indigenous and the biomedical healing systems are existing dualistically, but have fewer informal professional interactions, which is more competitive and less cooperative. The coexistence of the indigenous and the biomedical healing systems in the study area generally has a positive contribution in addressing and improving the health of the people.