The Role of Traditional Knowledge in the COVID-19 Battle

22 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2020

Date Written: June 26, 2020


This article addresses the role of traditional medicine in the race to find a cure for the corona virus (COVID-19). It situates traditional medicine within the traditional knowledge and Intellectual Property discussion. The paper discusses the increased gravitation towards using traditional medicine but also identifies the existence of scepticism towards its use. The paper calls on the African and indigenous communities who make up a large portion of the traditional medicine community to play their role in the fight against COVID-19. The battle is real, the coronavirus ground is an intersecting one and the solution is out there, but we do not know for sure where the solution would come from and what quarters it will come from. It could be traditional medicine, medical science, or a curious combination of both. This paper advocates for collaboration, it advocates that we join hands to fight the virus. It advocates inclusion rather than exclusion.

Keywords: Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Medicine, Intellectual Property, COVID-19

JEL Classification: K3

Suggested Citation

Ola, Olukunle, The Role of Traditional Knowledge in the COVID-19 Battle (June 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Olukunle Ola (Contact Author)

Thomas More Law School ( email )

Level 7, 486 Albert Street
East Melbourne, Victoria

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