Anthropology and International Health: South Asian Case Studies
by Mark Nichter
In this book I present a series of eleven essays written between 1978 and 1987 on subjects relevant to the anthropology of health and international ... Show synopsis In this book I present a series of eleven essays written between 1978 and 1987 on subjects relevant to the anthropology of health and international health. The issues addressed in these essays were investigated during 38 months of fieldwork in rural southwest peninsular India (197 4-86) and 15 months of fieldwork in southwest Sri Lanka (1983-84 ).;During various periods of this time I conducted ethnographic fieldwork, explored the feasibility of participatory community research, facilitated the development of a postgraduate health education training program, and served as a consultant to various international health organizations. The essays document my ongoing attempts to integrate academic interests in the anthropology of health with applications of anthropology for international health and development. The volume is divided into four sections structured around the themes of: ethnophysiology, illness ethnography, pharmaceutical related behavior, and health communication. Included are studies of fertility and pregnancy (Chapters 1 and 2), states of malnutrition and approaches to nutrition education (Chapters 5 and 11 ), diarrheal disease and water boiling behavior (Chapters 6 and 1 0), and lay perceptions of fertility control methods and medicines (Chapters 3 and 7). Emerging from these studies is a recognition that perceptions of ethnophysiology and contingent health concerns signifi cantly influence health behavior and the use as well as demand for traditional and modern health resources."