Each society and culture perceives illness, health, and healing differently. In some cases, these perceptions can be an obstacle to the timely prevention and treatment of sickness.
AMP’s work in medical anthropology aims to enhance understanding of how vaccine-preventable illness is perceived and cured around the world. In particular, we focus on:
- Knowledge of diseases and existing prevention and care strategies (both modern and traditional)
- Individual experience of disease
- Preventive and curative practices (both modern and traditional)
- Social impact of disease on individuals and families and their coping strategies
- Cultural importance of different types of medical systems
- Vaccine acceptability
The data from our research provide insight into demand for vaccination and medical care, offer greater understanding of why morbidity and mortality remain high in certain settings, and enlighten ways to improve care and preventive strategies. This information is critical to providing greater access to widely available medicines and building upon their current use.