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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Therapy choice, utilisation, and satisfaction by low budget health-seekers in suburban and rural Bantu Africa
Author:Devisch, RenéISNI
Periodical:African Anthropology (ISSN 1024-0969)
Geographic terms:Africa
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:traditional medicine
public health
Health and Nutrition
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.ajol.info/index.php/aa/article/view/23083/19841
Abstract:Most countries in Africa today are faced with the challenge of how to guarantee community health care services and a national health care system that are affordable and equitably accessible. This article outlines the main problems involved, including the existence of competing health care systems, allocation problems, and cost aspects. The author argues that in a context of urban poverty, traditional African healing systems remain the most popular form of health care. A successful national health care system should involve a meaningful connection or negotiation between traditional healing and the biomedical health care system. The author outlines issues for health systems research and policy, arguing that traditional cultural idioms have often been ignored. As an example of the relationship between local knowledge systems and modernity, he describes the plural health care setting in urban Congo, notably Kinshasa, focussing on the so-called 'villagization' of the city, which also manifests itself in the area of health care. He concludes that the contribution of research must lie in the mediation between the world of healers and formal health care institutions. Bibliogr., notes, ref.