The history of the discipline dates back to the year 2000 at the then University of Natal, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine when a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Traditional Health Practitioners of KwaZulu-Natal and the School. In 2007, a Research Chair in Indigenous Health Care Systems was established by the NRF/DST. This accelerated the growth of research in this field attracting postgraduate students, postdocs and research funding. The UKZN allocated space for the creation of a state-of-the-art laboratory at the Howard College campus. At this stage it had become part of the School of Nursing and Public Health. It is a founding member of the DSI IK-based Research Consortium and chairs its traditional medicine team. Recently, its head was appointed a member of the WHO/AU/Africa CDC Expert Committee on Traditional Medicine for COVID-19.
Its partnerships are continuing to grow with cooperation agreements with the Innovation Hub, the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Traditional Health Practitioners Business Council to mention a few. International collaboration includes the Athlone Institute of Technology (Ireland), University of Florida (US), University of Missouri (US), Simon Fraser University (Canada), and The Wistar Institute (US).
We want to develop modules aimed at the College of Health Sciences undergraduate and postgraduate students focusing on Africanising, transformation, and decolonisation of the curriculum. We will make our contribution to support national strategic initiatives that need curriculum inputs.