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Title: Rethinking indigenous medicine : illness (mis)representation and political economy of health in Mozambique's public health field
Author: Mahumana, Narciso António
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 2866
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2015
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This dissertation was motivated by the misrepresentation of, and apparent lack of knowledge about, indigenous medicine in Mozambique. This consequently raised the need to reveal the epistemologies of health, illness and healing; rewrite the historiography; and develop the knowledge of and about this medicine. The dissertation analyses illness representation and the political economy of health. The thesis defended is that indigenous medicine is a form of medical knowledge and practice that represents its illness, therapy and efficacy according to specific epistemological foundations, rooted in the local society and culture yet it has been misrepresented by local discourses, agencies and practices that battle to control health resources, knowledge and power in Mozambique. Within this, biomedical health paradigms, bodies, and representations have been imposed onto an imagined Official National Health Service (ONHS) whilst people, on the other hand, represent, legitimise, and seek therapy simultaneously in different epistemologies and practices of medicine within the therapeutic landscape creating a Contextual National Health Service (CNHS). This political economy of health is contingent on historical, socio-economical, political and geopolitical productions and constructions of health and efficacy within Mozambique's public health field. Research and health development needs to rewrite the historiography of indigenous medicine based on ethnographically sensitive material and linguistic competence. The construction and justification of this argument is made in seven chapters. The study was carried out in Maputo City and Manhiça district and relied on participant observation. It also uses a mixture of other qualitative methods which encompassed formal and informal interviews, documenting of life histories, desk review, and participatory learning for action (PLA).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GN296 Medical anthropology