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Open AccessReview

Effectiveness of Integrated Health Systems in Africa: A Systematic Review

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College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia
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College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060271
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 26 May 2020 / Accepted: 28 May 2020 / Published: 29 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
Background and objective: Traditional medicine (TM) was integrated into health systems in Africa due to its importance within the health delivery setup in fostering increased health care accessibility through safe practices. However, the quality of integrated health systems in Africa has not been assessed since its implementation. The objective of this paper was to extensively and systematically review the effectiveness of integrated health systems in Africa. Materials and Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted from October, 2019 to March, 2020 using Ovid Medline, Scopus, Emcare, Web of Science, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), and Google Scholar, in order to retrieve original articles evaluating the integration of TM into health systems in Africa. A quality assessment of relevant articles was also carried out using the Quality Assessment Tool for Studies with Diverse Designs (QATDSS) critical appraisal tool. Results: The results indicated that the formulation and execution of health policies were the main measures taken to integrate TM into health systems in Africa. The review also highlighted relatively low levels of awareness, usage, satisfaction, and acceptance of integrated health systems among the populace. Knowledge about the existence of an integrated system varied among study participants, while satisfaction and acceptance were low among orthodox medicine practitioners. Health service users’ satisfaction and acceptance of the practice of an integrated health system were high in the countries assessed. Conclusion: The review concluded that existing health policies in Africa are not working, so the integration of TM has not been successful. It is critical to uncover the barriers in the health system by exploring the perceptions and experiences of stakeholders, in order to develop solutions for better integration of the two health systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional medicine; integration; review; public health; health system traditional medicine; integration; review; public health; health system
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Ampomah, I.G.; Malau-Aduli, B.S.; Malau-Aduli, A.E.; Emeto, T.I. Effectiveness of Integrated Health Systems in Africa: A Systematic Review. Medicina 2020, 56, 271.

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