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September 2019

Cah Sociol Demogr Med. 1995 Apr-Sep; 35(2): 85-97.

[Medical beliefs and practices in Algeria. Study of various therapeutic routes]

Merzouk M.

In Algeria, the official health policy is based on a constant principle: the implementation of a health care system patterned on the Western model. As the country is rooted in a non-Western tradition, two paradigms are competing. The article is aimed at measuring the degree of adhesion given to each paradigm (and system of reference) by the people. In short its objective is to determine how a patient believes respectively in the "western" medicine and the "traditional" on and how he accepts they coexist for alleviating his sufferings. In a society predominantly religious and rural, the therapeutic relation is evaluated firstly on the basis of the kindness and warmth of the care providers. It is also appreciated by its religious surroundings. These two elements are absent in Western-style hospitals. Other factors contribute to strengthen the traditional medicine among the people.

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