This page is made up of two parts. The first part pertains to rural medicine in 1970s Kenya, including a missionary-supported district hospital in Marsabit, Kenya. The second part concerns traditional healing and herbalism in East Africa, including photos showing herbalists and traditional healers at work and a traditional healing association gathering. These photos are from Miller’s personal collection of photos from 26 field trips to Africa, most collected in the period 1960-1972.
Rural Medicine Gallery
Illustrated below are rural health settings of the 1970s in Marsabit, Kenya, including a missionary supported district hospital (1-3), a research vehicle for the ministry of health (4), the hospital’s morgue (5), its maternity ward (6-8), a clinical officer, equivalent to a physician’s assistant (9), its pharmacy (10) sterilization of cotton (11), and a public water source near the hospital (12-14) where citizens pay token amounts for debes (containers) of water.
Traditional Healing Gallery
Some healing ceremonies for illness or spirit possession are public, and can include music and community support (1-2). Most markets in Africa will have herbal remedies available, often consisting of bark, roots, leaves, and minerals (3). Many traditional healer’s kits include gourds and baskets for ingredients, tools for massage and other physical therapies, and other items for ceremonial or ritual purposes (4). Healers can generate large crowds, particularly if they proselytize religious beliefs in their ceremonies, such as Mary Agasta, a faith healer in Western Kenya (5). Some healers use musical instruments in their therapies, such as a Kikuyu lyric singer playing a gechande (6). Modern healing associations, such as this one in Kampala, Uganda, hold training events that draw western trained nurses and nutritionists interested in using traditional methods to expand the brand of their trade (7). Dr Charles Good Jr. worked with these associations, such as Chama Cha Waganga in Tanzania helping to conduct training workshops (8-10). Such associations worked towards synthesizing traditional and western medicine, setting standards for ethics, including fees, and promoting tested herbal remedies.
See credits for photos not owned by Miller here.