Accepted paper:

Health practices among the Santal women: A study in India and Bangladesh


Suchismita Sen Chowdhury (Rajdanga Pragati Society (NGO))

Paper short abstract:

Health care practices among Santals are surrounded by the traditional beliefs. The Santals of India and Bangladesh both are influenced by the existing health policies and social system. Being an important part of the society, health care system adopted by the women becomes a global issue.

Paper long abstract:

In the tribal societies 'health' is not only a physical state of an individual, rather it is influenced by socio-cultural and economic factors. While modern health care system is highly complex, many tribal societies sill live on traditional health practices. Health care practices not only involve utilization of available facilities, but also belief system of a society. Apart from utilization of available facilities, health care system of a community involves traditional knowledge on the natural medicine and preventive care. At present, indigenous knowledge on the disease and treatment has become a matter of concern in the global health care scenario. The women health in any society is a matter of concern as their health directly influence children health. But in many cases women health remains unnoticed by the family. The Santals traditionally believed that diseases are generally unnatural and are caused by some supernatural forces. They strongly believed on the traditional medicine and medicine man. Women are important part of the Santal society. The women health in Santal society is surrounded by beliefs and traditional practices. The Santals were originally the inhabitants of eastern part of India. With time they have migrated to Bangladesh. Now they are living in these two countries having different socio-political set ups. The facilities available in these countries are different. The traditional health practices of the Santals might have undergone changes. The different situations influenced the health care practices of the Santal women living in India and Bangladesh has been examined in this paper.

panel LD23
Tribal health: emerging consequences in the era of globalization