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Traditional Medicine and Healthcare in Suriname


 Project Description

dot.gif Objective:To prevent the disappearance of traditional knowledge of medicines from the rainforest by encouraging young apprentices to learn from shamans.
dot.gif Rationale:Much of the recent Western medical interest in traditional medicine has focused on extracting medicinal plants from the rainforests. However, little or no revenue from the sale of such pharmaceuticals ever returns back to the indigenous communities. In contrast, health initiatives that actively promote and foster safe traditional medical practices contribute directly to the immediate need of indigenous peoples' health. They also contribute toward the continued transmission of indigenous medical practices. Over the past decade, health organizations have attempted to promote initiatives that integrate traditional health practices in the delivery of primary care services in indigenous communities. Several countries in Central and South America have adopted such programs; however, most have failed because of the significant distrust and knowledge gap that often exists between primary care workers and traditional healers.
dot.gif Innovation / Expected Results:The project will establish integrated clinics that will serve to broaden access to health care to tribes in Suriname, helping them strengthen and preserve their culture and traditions. It is important to note that the operation of the clinics will be under the control of traditional healers. 

 Contact Information

dot.gif Project Manager:Christopher Herndon
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