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Thematic Area : Health & Hygiene
International Partners : Simona Garrobio, EPFL, Switzerland
Amrita Partners : Oraclephyia Marwein and Mehar Taj, Department of Social Work
Village : Joonakatiwada, Madya Pradesh
Project Duration : 1 month
Identified Challenge & Aim :
Rural communities, especially tribal villages, carry with them a wealth of knowledge passed down over generations regarding traditional healing practices for diseases. However, with the advent of western medicine, some communities find themselves at a crossroads between preserving traditional practices and adopting novel medical treatments. This study aims to understand and further explore traditional medicinal plants used in curing diseases as well as the emerging role of primary healthcare centers (representatives of western medicine) in rural communities.
The Study/Innovation :
The team visited primary health center and had a discussion with doctors to understand about common diseases suffered by villagers and subsequent treatments.
Students subsequently interacted with the village’s herbal doctor to understand the common diseases in the villages and some of the traditional plants used for their treatment. To further gain a better understanding of villagers’ opinions and knowledge of traditional medicine, the team conducted semi structured interviews. Students inquired current treatment options that villagers’ favored and how they chose to combat particular illnesses. The team then had a group discussion about all the interviews and what they learned about health practices and preferences in the village.The team also visited a local forest to collect samples of commonly used and rare herbs. They were subsequently identified according to their botanical names and cataloged based on their healing properties.