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Slikkerveer, L. J. (1982). Rural health development in ethiopia. problems of utilization of traditional healers. Social Science and Medicine, 16(21), 1859–1872. 
Resource type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1016/0277-9536(82)90447-6
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 2779536
BibTeX citation key: Slikkerveer1982
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Categories: General
Creators: Slikkerveer
Collection: Social Science and Medicine
In Ethiopia, a pluralistic complex of multiple and simultaneous medical care utilization has constituted the Ethiopian variant of medical pluralism in East Africa, where through a process of acculturation, Cushitic, Arabic and Amharic medical tranditions co-exist with cosmopolitan medicine. On request of the central government, joint medical-sociological and anthropological research between the Universities of Addis Ababa and Leiden was conducted in the Eastern Highlands with the main objective to formulate recommendations for the improvement and extension of the health care facilities in the rural areas. The situational analysis revealed relatively low utilization rates of the 'official' health services by the local population. Consequently a desire was expressed to undertake health services development research, particularly centered upon the functioning of the various medical systems and sub-systems in Hararghe. In order to assess the overall pattern of illness behaviour special consideration was given to the question "when, and to what extent do people use the available medical systems?". After the completion of the subsequent subjective and objective health surveys the concept of 'distance reduction' between provider and consumer of health care was introduced in order to increase the utilization of the formal health services, taking into account the problems related to geographical, economic and socio-cultural distance. In this paper, a description will be given of the existing alternative health care resources. In addition, the positive contribution which the concept of medical pluralism could provide to rural health planning will be examined within the context of the research project. This will include a discussion of the problems encountered in connection with the utilization of traditional healers and the possibilities for their incorporation into a future syncretic type of national health care delivery system. ©1982.