Healers and Hospitals - healing concepts and practices in Mozambique

Healers and Hospitals - healing concepts and practices in Mozambique

The main part of the project is a three years-long anthropological research, developed amongst Mozambican healers and following 6 major vectors: 1) the concepts and systems of interpretation underlying their activity; 2) their therapeutic practices and its internal logics; 3) their social, psychological, pharmacological and medical knowledge; 4) their processes of professional integration and subsequent hierarchical relationships; 5) the roles and power relations they had been keeping with the society and the biomedicine, along different historical and political frameworks; 6) the articulation between the actions of healers, doctors and patients, and global/international health policies.

The collected data will have two supplementary uses: a) transmission of data on medicinal plants to experts' sorting of unknown species/uses, for possible future projects of pharmacological and therapeutic analyse; b) knowledge divulgation trough public actions, stimulating the dialogue, the mutual information and the collaboration between biomedical and healers' networks and institutions.
The anthropological research will start in Maputo and Gaza provinces, with ulterior studies in Inhambane, Sofala, Cabo Delgado and Niassa provinces.

The research team will have 3 people, including a scholarship-holder PhD student selected by public application. However, the cooperation protocol between ICS-UL and the FLCS of Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) will be the base for the further integration of Mozambican anthropologists and historians, with the mobilisation of complementary financial sources, if necessary.

The anthropological fieldwork will focus in the contexts of consultation and divination, of treatment and ritual, of trials by divination or ordeal and of professional learning, in the premises of the healers or their patients. The "bandla" (professional confraternities/lineages), the healers' associations and their documents, the Mozambican Historical Archive (AHM) assets, and the MDs' representations on healers activities will be complementary research contexts.

The main methodology will be the direct observation of the above mentioned actions (including their audiovisual register), together with the daily contact and informal conversation with healers. Together with it, life stories of healers, their students and patients will be recorded, and semi-directive interviews will be performed with those groups and with MDs. Four kinds of pertinent written sources will be subjected to qualitative analyse: documents from AHM; trial minutes and other registers from the Mozambican association of traditional medicine practitioners (Ametramo); news from the press; and healers' clinical registers - with, obviously, secrecy about their patients' identity and sensitive details.

The access to a large range of healers and to confidential documents will be facilitated by the Ametramo Honorary Member status of the project coordinator. The access to AHM documents will also be easy, due to the previous collaborations between that archive and ICS-UL.

The research team will dialogue with consultants who are experts in this thematic and/or geographical area, and who will participate in the debate and divulgation seminaries.
The botanic interlocutor of the project will be Prof. Virgílio do Rosário, from CMDT.

The divulgation and extension actions include: a) seminary for MDs, about healers' activities and the socio-cultural framework of health issues in Mozambique; b) support to the organisation of complementary education on this subject, in UEM Medicine degree; c) seminary for healers, MDs and political leaders, about their collaboration in health care; d) seminary of general results presentation, in Portugal.

The global objectives of the project are: 1) to analyse Mozambican healers' diagnosis and therapeutic practices, their logics about health, illness and its aetiology, and the relationship between those issues and the management of uncertainty and misfortune; 2) to understand the symbolic and rhetoric means involved in those practices and notions, and their relation with the socio-cultural framework; 3) to analyse healers' learning process and its potential for spreading hygienic and prophylactic rules; 4) to analyse the evolution of healers' role on the health care and the management of social relations, and their relation with biomedicine, State and global health policies; 5) to collect data on the local pharmacopoeia, for the sorting of plants which might be the object of further specialised studies; 6) to spread the information, stimulating the dialogue between biomedical institutions and healers, leading to protocols of conduct and to the consideration of socio-cultural specificities on biomedical teaching and practice.

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
Yes

The main part of the project is a three years-long anthropological research, developed amongst Mozambican healers and following 6 major vectors: 1) the concepts and systems of interpretation underlying their activity; 2) their therapeutic practices and its internal logics; 3) their social, psychological, pharmacological and medical knowledge; 4) their processes of professional integration and subsequent hierarchical relationships; 5) the roles and power relations they had been keeping with the society and the biomedicine, along different historical and political frameworks; 6) the articulation between the actions of healers, doctors and patients, and global/international health policies.

The collected data will have two supplementary uses: a) transmission of data on medicinal plants to experts' sorting of unknown species/uses, for possible future projects of pharmacological and therapeutic analyse; b) knowledge divulgation trough public actions, stimulating the dialogue, the mutual information and the collaboration between biomedical and healers' networks and institutions.
The anthropological research will start in Maputo and Gaza provinces, with ulterior studies in Inhambane, Sofala, Cabo Delgado and Niassa provinces.

The research team will have 3 people, including a scholarship-holder PhD student selected by public application. However, the cooperation protocol between ICS-UL and the FLCS of Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) will be the base for the further integration of Mozambican anthropologists and historians, with the mobilisation of complementary financial sources, if necessary.

The anthropological fieldwork will focus in the contexts of consultation and divination, of treatment and ritual, of trials by divination or ordeal and of professional learning, in the premises of the healers or their patients. The "bandla" (professional confraternities/lineages), the healers' associations and their documents, the Mozambican Historical Archive (AHM) assets, and the MDs' representations on healers activities will be complementary research contexts.

The main methodology will be the direct observation of the above mentioned actions (including their audiovisual register), together with the daily contact and informal conversation with healers. Together with it, life stories of healers, their students and patients will be recorded, and semi-directive interviews will be performed with those groups and with MDs. Four kinds of pertinent written sources will be subjected to qualitative analyse: documents from AHM; trial minutes and other registers from the Mozambican association of traditional medicine practitioners (Ametramo); news from the press; and healers' clinical registers - with, obviously, secrecy about their patients' identity and sensitive details.

The access to a large range of healers and to confidential documents will be facilitated by the Ametramo Honorary Member status of the project coordinator. The access to AHM documents will also be easy, due to the previous collaborations between that archive and ICS-UL.

The research team will dialogue with consultants who are experts in this thematic and/or geographical area, and who will participate in the debate and divulgation seminaries.
The botanic interlocutor of the project will be Prof. Virgílio do Rosário, from CMDT.

The divulgation and extension actions include: a) seminary for MDs, about healers' activities and the socio-cultural framework of health issues in Mozambique; b) support to the organisation of complementary education on this subject, in UEM Medicine degree; c) seminary for healers, MDs and political leaders, about their collaboration in health care; d) seminary of general results presentation, in Portugal.

The global objectives of the project are: 1) to analyse Mozambican healers' diagnosis and therapeutic practices, their logics about health, illness and its aetiology, and the relationship between those issues and the management of uncertainty and misfortune; 2) to understand the symbolic and rhetoric means involved in those practices and notions, and their relation with the socio-cultural framework; 3) to analyse healers' learning process and its potential for spreading hygienic and prophylactic rules; 4) to analyse the evolution of healers' role on the health care and the management of social relations, and their relation with biomedicine, State and global health policies; 5) to collect data on the local pharmacopoeia, for the sorting of plants which might be the object of further specialised studies; 6) to spread the information, stimulating the dialogue between biomedical institutions and healers, leading to protocols of conduct and to the consideration of socio-cultural specificities on biomedical teaching and practice.

Objectivos: 
1) to analyse Mozambican healers' diagnosis and therapeutic practices, their logics about health, illness and its aetiology, and the relationship between those issues and the management of uncertainty and misfortune; <p>2)  to understand the symbolic and rhetoric means involved in those practices and notions, and their relation with the socio-cultural framework; </p><p>3) to analyse healers' learning process and its potential for spreading hygienic and prophylactic rules; </p><p>4) to analyse the evolution of healers' role on the health care and the management of social relations, and their relation with biomedicine, State and global health policies; </p><p>5) to collect data on the local pharmacopoeia, for the sorting of plants which might be the object of further specialised studies; </p><p>6) to spread the information, stimulating the dialogue between biomedical institutions and healers, leading to protocols of conduct and to the consideration of socio-cultural specificities on biomedical teaching and practice.</p>
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/07/2007
End Date: 
30/09/2010
Duração: 
38 meses
Closed