Home Institution

George Washington University

Publication Date

Summer 2011

Program Name

Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Health Care Systems


Healthcare is a complicated structure, influenced by multiple economic, social and cultural factors. It is problematic enough to determine how to administer healthcare in countries that rely only on the western healthcare system, but it is even more difficult in places such as Madagascar where multiple healthcare systems exist. Today the Malagasy have a culture that combines the many French practices with the traditional Malagasy beliefs, traditions and values. Many Malagasy chose to utilize allopathic medicine, but many others still prefer to go to a traditional healer. By gaining a better understanding of the average Malagasy person’s perceptions of proper healthcare, the service itself, in terms of administration, provision and education, can be improved to fit the needs and wants of the Malagasy. The information presented here clearly shows that culture defines the perceptions of health and that for the Malagasy these perceptions demonstrate a need to ingrate healthcare.


Civic and Community Engagement | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | Health Services Research | Place and Environment


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