Accepted paper:

Traditional West African "Physiotherapy"


Carmen Campoy Guerrero (Universitat de Lleida)

Paper short abstract:

Traditional African traumatology, since ancient times, enjoys great accessibility and efficiency, being a community health resource. In this work, a comparative study between biomedical physiotherapy and traumatology or traditional "physiotherapy" is carried out.

Paper long abstract:

Traditional African traumatology constitutes a therapeutic resource present in all communities and enjoys a better access, geographic and economic, than traumatology and physiotherapy of a biomedical nature. However, this discipline is still largely unknown even by African governments themselves and international health cooperation agencies. This study is the result of the field work carried out over some years in West Africa, mainly in Gambia and Mali, consisting of participant observation and the collection of clinical data referring to the practice of traditional "physiotherapy" or "traumatology" by one side, and Western physiotherapy, based on the biomedical paradigm, on the other. It is evident, through the use of qualitative and quantitative research tools, the great effectiveness of the techniques and treatment protocols used by professionals called "traumatoleg traditionel" or "setter bone". An analysis of the physical, social and symbolic effectiveness of these practices is carried out, through a comparative study between the same ones and those used by the biomedical system and, on the other hand, making possible a legitimation, from the scientific point of view, of the themselves.

panel P181
Local Knowledge: development opportunities coming from the countryside? Methodological and political strategies and challenges in the health area