Home Institution

University of Pittsburgh

Publication Date

Summer 2013

Program Name

Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Health Care Systems


Following several political upheavals, the country of Madagascar has become one of the poorest countries in the world. This level of poverty affects many aspects of life, especially access to healthcare services. The availability of both allopathic and traditional healthcare to the impoverished citizens of Madagascar was examined through discussions, interviews, and journal articles. It was found that although both the allopathic and traditional medicinal systems do not charge their patients for general consultations and care, there is a high cost for pharmaceutical medications in the allopathic system. These medications are sometimes too expensive for many Malagasy patients to afford. In traditional medicine, the remedies that are prescribed are free of charge, and most also have a scientific basis. In Madagascar and many other countries, this aspect of traditional medicine could fill in the gaps of the allopathic system. The most difficult part would be to erase the stigma attached to traditional medicine. With some effort in this matter, a complementary system between traditional and allopathic medicine could allow equal access to healthcare, no matter one’s socioeconomic status.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | Health Policy | Inequality and Stratification | International Public Health | Medicine and Health | Public Health