African Communality Contributing to the Dignity of the Terminally Ill: Traditional and Political Ujamaa in the Selian Hospice and Palliative Care Program in Tanzania

  • Exchange, November 2016, Brill
  • DOI: 10.1163/1572543x-12341413

African communality contributing to dignity of the terminally ill

What is it about?

African communality contributing to dignity of the terminally ill – traditional and political Ujamaa in the Selian Hospice and Palliative Care Program in Tanzania Auli Vähäkangas Tanzania’s first president Julius Nyerere’s Ujamaa (living together or living as one family) still extends its influence on Tanzanians’ understanding of communality. The era of Ujamaa socialism as a political system is now history, but some of its heritage still seems to influence how people in Tanzania regard family as well as community and how they act within their community. In this article I differentiate between Nyerere’s political Ujamaa and the traditional Tanzanian communality which was the model for Nyerere’s political program. I thus argue, that the Selian palliative care program could be seen as a present-day example of how Ujamaa - both in political and traditional forms - still influences communal life in Tanzania. The results of this study reveal that the Selian Hospice and Palliative care Program uses dimensions of both traditional and political Ujamaa in order to protect the dignity of the dying patients. This is done subconsciously and eclectically. The term Ujamaa was not explicitly used in the data of this study. The Program seems to stress communality and social responsibility in general while clearly utilizing the values of both traditional and political Ujamaa all through its practices. key words: Contextual pastoral theology, palliative care, Tanzania, communality

Why is it important?

This article adds knowledge on the importance of culture and religion to the home based palliative care.

Read Publication

http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1572543x-12341413

The following have contributed to this page: Prof. Auli M Vähäkangas

In partnership with: