Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Katherine Olukemi Bankole
As the birthplace of humankind, Africa has the longest history of addressing disease and its spread among the population. Africans were aware of the history of many diseases and catalogued their course in society. The ancient Egyptians (Kmts) were among the first Africans to study and treat disease. First and foremost, the idea of disease (sickness, illness, disorder, etc.) in traditional African societies is most commonly associated with the legacy of spirituality and the mind-body-spirit connection. In this worldview, disease is explained, in part, through natural circumstances, but always in terms signifying the primacy of the supernatural realm. Men and women in early Africa actively sought to explain the nature of disease, define its origin, and explain the disturbance manifested in the physical body and how it could be confronted. Many African societies have held this fundamental analysis ...