Denison University presents "Making Kedjom Medicine: A History of Public Health and Well-Being in Cameroon" by Kent Maynard.
Conceptions of medicine and medical practice among the Kedjom peoples in Cameroon embrace more than western biomedical understandings of medicine. For these peoples, medicine implies substances, knowledge, practices and institutions bound up with protection and intervention against misfortune and the active promotion of well-being. Nor are medical concerns primarily about the individual. Medicine in the precolonial era was a matter for groups. In short, medicine was preeminently public. Perhaps the major transformation since the colonial period and extending into the postcolonial, has been the increasing commercialization of "traditional" medicine as African healers shift their practices away from group concerns to a focus more concerned with treating the individual. Written in a lucid style, full of vibrant anecdotes, Maynard's book will appeal not only to medical anthropologists and development workers, but also to anyone interested in nonwestern medicine and practices.