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Madagascar healthcare related beliefs values and perception

  1. Malagasy Alternative Names Malagasy refer to themselves and their language as Malagasy and their country as Madagasikara.
  2. All the Malagasy peoples have traditionally accepted the existence of a supreme God, known commonly as Zanahary Creator or Andriamanitra Sweet, or Fragrant, Lord. The flag, divided into three colors, is considered a national symbol and is found in all government buildings.
  3. The Betsimisaraka, the second largest ethnic group, is the most numerous group pursuing trading, seafaring, fishing, and cultivation. Kabary is an elaborate and poetic form of discourse in which the speaker makes a critical point in a indirect fashion.
  4. This eventually led to independence on 20 June 1960.

Messenger When most of us think about the medical approach that dominates in Western countries, we tend to view it as scientific and therefore as neutral, not influenced by social or cultural processes.

Yet research undertaken by anthropologists and sociologists has revealed the influence that social and cultural assumptions play in the western biomedical tradition.


It highlights the importance of doctors and other health professionals understanding that their patients from another culture that may hold different beliefs about illness and may experience poorer quality health care as a result of communication breakdowns. Medical anthropologists have identified several such cultural belief systems among non-western cultures. It is seen as an illness by Spanish speakers in the Caribbean and Latin America. Another consideration As important as these acknowledgements of culture are, it should be recognised that culture, more broadly, can also be understood as the meanings, technologies and practices that gather around medicine within western societies.

Despite the objectivity implied by the scientific principles underlying western medicine, it is still underpinned by a host of assumptions and beliefs developed through living in western culture.

The white coat worn by doctors is a potent symbol of efficiency and hygiene, for instance, and the bleeping medical machines found in the hospital setting convey their own meanings of high technological prowess. They may even delay seeking medical treatment because of the stigma that clings to the disease.

In the case of lay people, this term refers to the understandings, concepts and beliefs they bring to the medical encounter.

  • Accordingly, different values and different forces, either active or passive, are attributed to each fraction of time;
  • Two Merina monarchs were responsible for establishing political dominance over the island;
  • They are paid a regular salary and additional fees for extra services;
  • The dead are viewed as having the power to affect the lives of the living;
  • The geographical location of the hotely is often an indicator of what is offered.

These are shaped not only by their encounters with doctors and other health-care professionals but also by such factors as personal experiences, interactions with others, information derived from the mass media and the internet, and membership of social class, gender or generational groups as well as racial or ethnic groups.

Same, same but different Even within the western world, there are significant national differences in how scientific medicine is understood and practised. These differences can be particularly evident in controversies over medical innovation, such as human embryonic stem cell research. Major differences between western countries are also apparent in health-care spending and statistics of drug prescriptions and medical techniques.

  • Yet opposition has given way in many cases to a kind of mutual assimilation;
  • Homes in coastal regions are often built on a raised platform in areas with high rainfall and on the ground in drier areas.

A comparative study showed that the French tend to be less obsessed with germs and hygiene but are more focused on the health of their livers — and their doctors treat them accordingly. And US health-care costs are the highest in the world partly as a result of this. It may not offer many luxuries but at least provides care for all.

Same, same but different

A detailed study has yet to be undertaken of our health beliefs and practices. It would be fascinating to do such research taking into account the increasing cultural diversity within the Australian population.

As these comparisons show, culture-bound syndromes are not confined to non-western cultures. This is generated not only by their scientific training but also by other aspects of their own lifeworlds.

Deborah Lupton is the author of Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body 3rd revised edition, Sage, 2012.

  • Customary tenure systems are generally comprised of holdings and commons;
  • Society consists of a small elite class whose wealth, power, and influence is several generations old; a small bourgeois class; and a large lower class;
  • The West Coast is characterized by deciduous trees on dry, open savanna grassland sloping toward the sea;
  • Among some groups, whether one decides to be buried in the tombs of the father's or mother's family determines individual descent-group allegiance.