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An exploration of the cultural context and consequences of perceptions of illness and health-seeking behaviour of the Baloch

An exploration of the cultural context and consequences of perceptions of illness and health-seeking behaviour of the Baloch

Dashti, Naseer (2007) An exploration of the cultural context and consequences of perceptions of illness and health-seeking behaviour of the Baloch. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

Human beliefs about health and illness structure the explanations for health and illness in a society and these explanations rationalise preventive or therapeutic strategies. The purpose of this research was to discover, identify and understand the perceptions of health, illness and health seeking behaviour of the Baloch people in a cultural perspective. More specifically, it was to document their perception regarding the origin and cause of illness and disease as revealed in their system of disease-classification and their etiological categories. It was also to describe the context in which Baloch access the traditional health care system as well as conventional health care. Participant observations and in-depth interviews were the tools for data collection in this ethnographic study. Four districts of Pakistani Balochistan were selected for fieldwork. Traditional or folk healers of different categories, medical professionals, sufferers, family heads, community elders, tribal chiefs and medical doctors were interviewed in depth during fieldwork and many socio-cultural phenomena and ritual healing practices were participated in and observed. It was observed that Baloch beliefs regarding health and illness revolve either on the concept of natural causes that are mainly due to humoral imbalance or supernatural causes: spirit possession, sorcery or evil eye. In contemporary Balochistan, despite the availability of the basic health care system in the majority of Baloch settlements, for all practical purposes, Baloch use their traditional medical practices alongside biomedicine. These medical practices mainly consist of herbal remedies and spiritual healing practices. Folk medical beliefs are inseparable from other elements of Baloch cultural life and in this context health planners and medical practitioners in Balochistan, mutually can do much to balance and integrate biomedicine and folk and traditional medicine. Working together, they can optimise the benefits for their client populations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.440299
Uncontrolled Keywords: perceptions of health, illness, health seeking behaviour, Baloch people, ethnography, traditional medicine, folk medicine, folk beliefs,
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Health Development
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2018 12:58
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/6143

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