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Indigenous medicine and biomedical health care in fragile settings: insights from Burundi

HIFA Quotation: 

As many anthropological and sociological studies have shown, there are multiple factors contributing to different health-care seeking patterns. Many times, tradicional/ alternative/ complementary medicine is sought precisely because people are not happy with biomedical responses to their situation or considers it more harmful and less effective - depending on the situations - than other approaches to their health problems. And this is not based on 'beliefs', but on their actual experiences.

I do not think we can achieve any consensus and improve interactions between health-care users, traditional medicine (or others) and the biomedical system, if we continue using a vertical approach. Otherwise, we are not talking about integration but about control. And I think it is important to acknowledge this in the first place, as it sets up the approach we are taking.

I definitely do consider that more research is needed. Yet, such studies, I believe, would be more fruitful if they included multidisciplinary teams well represented by all parts - in all stages of the research process.

Date of HIFA message: 
Monday, February 19, 2018
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Author Name: 
Carla F Rodrigues
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Carla F Rodrigues is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Sciences Research, University of Amsterdam (where she lives currently) and a researcher at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology, University Institute of Lisbon. Her main research interests are Sociology of Health, Education and Culture, specifically lay rationalities in health; therapeutic pluralism; and pharmaceuticals consumption. She has been conducting fieldwork in Portugal and Mozambique. She is a member of the HIFA working group on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines.

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