Panel no. 58 - Coming of Age for the Traditional Medicine System of Indigenous Populations: Is Connecting the Unconnected the Way Forward?


Convenor

Title Dr First name Nishant Last name Saxena
Institution ICMR-National Institute of Research in Tribal Health City Jabalpur Country IN

Co-Convenor

Title Mr First name Tom Last name Marshall
Institution name School of History, Anthropology, Politics and Philosophy, Queen's University City Belfast Country GB

Panel

Panel title

Coming of Age for the Traditional Medicine System of Indigenous Populations: Is Connecting the Unconnected the Way Forward?

Panel abstract

The traditional medicine system of indigenous populations is a unique attribute which is found in these communities across the world. This system of medicine is not just limited to treating a person for his "health" issue, rather also includes the aspects of faith and maintaining socio-psychological milieu of the society at large. The traditional healer is at the centre of this indigenous system of knowledge and is responsible for its propagation to the next generation. On the contrary, the modern medicine system which is believed to have emerged along the lines of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century as a Science does not concern itself with empathy and relating with the socio-cultural notions of its takers. Recent studies have shown that traditional healers provide healthcare that is comparatively affordable, accessible and sustainable in areas inhabited by indigenous communities where the presence of modern medicine is generally scarce, misunderstood or treatment is expensive. However, recent expansion of modern medicine in terms of access and scientific advances has started questioning the presence of traditional medicine in these remote and often less accessible areas. Additionally, groups who have migrated to an urban or new country of residence may experience dissonance between their traditional medical system and the dominant scientific biomedical model. Under these circumstances, "connecting the unconnected" i.e. connecting the indigenous traditional healers to the public health system could be the way forward. This panel proposes to bring in scholars from across the globe to a single platform where plausible solutions for preservation and continuity of the traditional medicine system of indigenous populations can be deliberated. Also, recent studies related to this knowledge system can be shared with a wider audience.

IUAES Commission

IUAES Commission on Medical Anthropology and Epidemiology