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Appropriation des produits médicaux venant de Chine au Cameroun


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Appropriation des produits médicaux venant de Chine au Cameroun

After a period of dissemination of so-called “traditional” Chinese medicine in Africa thanks to Chinese practitioners working in the public sector (hospitals), or setting up private practices in towns and proposing treatments such as acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese pharmacopoeia, China’s contribution to the health sector is now characterized by diverse forms of appropriation on the part of local actors.

Surprisingly, practices qualifiable as “traditional” Chinese medicine only remain present in the form of the Chinese medical teams working in the country’s three hospitals, whereas private practices are tending to disappear. Several practices opened by the Chinese have now shut, and Chinese entrepreneurs’ visibility in the health sector has sharply declined.

If the Chinese origin of products or medical practices tends to be “camouflaged”, China’s influence nonetheless remains considerable. Many Cameroonian practitioners, for instance, use a Chinese-made diagnostic machine, locally known as “the scanner”, and several Chinese groups are highly active in the network marketing of dietary supplements.

This panel aims to present empirical studies that testify to the appropriation and “camouflaging” of Chinese practices and products in the Cameroonian health sector.

 

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