This article discusses the medically pluralistic character of malaria prevention and treatment-based health-seeking behaviour among the inhabitants of a predominantly Jola village in the Gambia, West Africa. Through the presentation of ethnographic data obtained between 2003 and 2004, the paper demonstrates that traditional health services - represented by traditional medical practitioners and medicinal plant usage - among the Jola appear as much, if not more accessible, available, affordable and acceptable than the biomedical services - represented by biomedical practitioners and antimalarial medication usage - provided by the Gambian government health system. This accessibility, availability, affordability and acceptability occur to the extent that many of the villagers suggest that traditional health services become incorporated into the Gambian government health system. The need to integrate traditional and biomedical services becomes especially relevant given the existence of traditional services within the context of biomedical hegemony and limited Jola accessibility, availability and affordability of biomedical services.
AIDS, Access to Health Care and the Use of Culture in Haiti
During the past few years, the AIDS campaign in Haiti has been targeting Vodou officiants and organizations. These awareness and training programmes inform officiants about the transmission and prevention of AIDS, tests for HIV and antiretroviral drugs, or even try to encourage them to become involved in a medical referral system. These culturalist interventions are grounded in an essentialist concept of culture that can have harmful effects on the targeted groups. The concept of culture underlying such interventions is deconstructed along with the categories of traditional medicine and the 'tradipractitioner'. An approach to public health is advocated that would contextualize medical pluralism in Haiti.
were largely frustrated. Instead, “European medicine disproportionately attracted the Jewish minority,” further contributing “to the Jewish alienation from the Muslim majority.” Moreover, he emphasizes “the landscape of medical pluralism” in