Health problems and potentials for change in a rural african community

The Lama doonka – Buulalow study, 1995

This pubblication reports the results of a 10-year research collaboration conducted by the Somali-Swedish Epidemiology Study Group. The research addressed the local conditions of health at village and household levels in the villages of Lama doonka and Buulalow (Somalia). The idea was that professionally assessed health needs and people’s needs for health services should be seen as complementary entities supporting each other for community diagnosis and for the formation of health care programmes. Primary health care tools and strategies should be adapted to local cultural values and practices and, when applicable, depart from already available health care traditions.

The aim was to gather local epidemiological data in order to inform the basic health care provision in terms of mortality, morbidity, socio-demographic data, but also access and acceptability of health services and on the community’s perceptions about health matters. Such an apporoach is not solely a method of counting heads in a village, it must also relate to culture patterns and values. If fed back to the villagers supplying the information, epidemiological data may talk, and increase our understanding about causes and needs. Valid and practical epidemiological information for local health planning can be generated through villagers’ participation in the process of data gathering. In assessing the shortcoming of health programmes it is therefore important also to consider people’s perceived needs for health services.

Material kindly provided by the Roma 3 University's Somali Archive

health problems and potentials for change in a rural african community

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