White, red and black : Colour classification and illness management in Northern Ghana.
Health care facilities in Northern Ghana are not only too few, ill-equipped and under-supplied, they are also underutilized.
Health care personnel have often noted the irony in the fact that the sick do not make use of the health care facilities when they most need them.
Rural peoples often wait until the illness has become so serious that even with emergency measures there is little hope of survival.
The author maintains that the causes of this are not simply the lack of community education, the lack of warmth and friendliness on the part of poorly paid health workers, their perceived inefficiency, the great distances to be travelled and the constant shortages of medication.
More constraining than all of these are the conflicting cultures of illness management.
In a time of otherwise rapid social and cultural change, peoples of Northern Ghana have not often responded to Western medical systems in ways judged appropriate to such systems and have strongly resisted education or coercion to adapt to them.
The author maintains that the classificatory systems controlling illness management among the Anufo of Northern Ghana and among others of that locale are colour-coded.
This coding of « white », « red » and « black » is not simply a convenient way to classify types and stages of illness, or other aspects of life, but it orders and prescribes social roles and responsibilities vis-à-vis the sick person and the illness itself. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Maladie, Stade clinique, Classification, Couleur, Service santé, Aspect culturel, Médecine traditionnelle, Médecine occidentale, Conduite à tenir, Aide décision, Urgence, Homme, Ghana, Afrique, Système santé, Zone rurale
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Disease, Clinical stage, Classification, Color, Health service, Cultural aspect, Folk medicine, Western medicine, Clinical management, Decision aid, Emergency, Human, Ghana, Africa, Health system, Rural area
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0161114
Code Inist : 002B30A03B. Création : 21/05/1997.