The healers and families and doctors who welcomed my fellow students and me into their lives made it possible for me to feel that I now have a deeper understanding of not only healthcare practice in Madagascar but the broader implications of healthcare systems around the globe.
Simone Jacobs. Stanford University
Nat Quansah, PhD, Academic Director
A botanist by training and an ethnobotanist by profession, Dr. Quansah has a PhD in pteridology from the University of London, Goldsmiths College, and an MSc in botany, a BSc Honors, and a diploma in education from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Dr. Quansah's background includes cutting-edge work in ethnobotany and healthcare, for which he was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2000. He has worked in various cross-cultural contexts researching, advising, and lecturing on a wide range of issues including integrated healthcare, traditional medicine, biological and cultural diversity conservation, sustainable resource use, and rural development. He has developed an integrated healthcare system approach to healthcare development and bio-cultural diversity conservation. His work has consistently involved local and international public education through radio and television documentaries and popular/scientific publications. His recent publications include the volume Nature's Gift to Humanity: Natural Remedies for Selected Common Health Problems (2012) and the article “Maternal Mortality: The need to work with traditional birth attendants to offset the problem” (2012). In addition to serving as academic director for Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems, he served as academic director for Tanzania: Zanzibar—Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management during the spring 2013, fall 2013, and spring 2014 semesters. Dr. Quansah has been a lecturer with SIT's Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management program since its inception and also served as the academic director for the program in spring 2008.
View Dr. Quansah's Research
Patricia Randrianavony, PhD, Head of the Department of Animal Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Antananarivo; Program Assistant
As program assistant, Patricia Randrianavony coordinates and oversees various aspects of the program logistics, assists in academic coordination, and provides overall program support. A pharmacologist and aesthetician, Patricia is also a lecturer and researcher at the Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Générale, de Pharmacocinétique et de Cosmétologie at the University of Antananarivo, where she earned a DEA and a PhD in pharmacology. A recipient of the Prince Bernhard Scholarship for Nature Conservation in 1993, Patricia has worked with diverse rural communities in Madagascar and Uganda on health and conservation issues. She has participated in many local and international conferences and workshops on traditional medical systems and biodiversity conservation. She served as an advisor to Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda when it was developing a pharmacology laboratory and rural health-care program. Patricia has served as an occasional advisor to SIT Study Abroad students whose ISPs involved laboratory investigation of medicinal plants used in traditional medicine. Her published works include “Integrated Health Care and Biodiversity Conservation in the Manongarivo Special Reserve Area, Madagascar” (1995) and “Nature’s Gift to Humanity: Natural Remedies for Selected Common Health Problems” (2012).
Professor Fana Randimbivololona, Academic Assistant/Coordinator and Lecturer
Fana Randimbivololona assists the program’s academic director in the academic aspects of the semester. A pharmacologist and pharmacokineticist, Fana also teaches standardization techniques of traditional remedies. He holds a PhD in pharmaceutics application from the Ecole de Pharmacie at the Université Catholique de Louvain en Woluwé in Brussels, Belgium. As a senior lecturer and researcher at the University of Antananarivo, Fana established and is current director of the Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Générale, de Pharmacocinétique et de Cosmétologie. He is responsible for the postgraduate program of the Département de Physiologie Animale et Pharmacologie. He has served as the general director and secretary general of Madagascar’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and has participated in many local and international conferences and workshops on traditional medical systems and pharmacology. His published works include “Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Buddleia axillaris (Loganiaceae)” (1999).
José Narcisse Randria, MD, Program Medical Doctor and Lecturer
José Narcisse Randria is a medical doctor and researcher at the Centre National d’Application des Recherches Pharmaceutique in the Département d’Expérimentation Clinique of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. A practicing medical officer, José holds an MD from the School of Medicine and a DEA in pharmacology from the Département de Physiologie Animale et Pharmacologie, Faculty of Science, both at the University of Antananarivo. He is currently carrying out research on the toxicology and pharmacology of two Malagasy medicinal plants used in traditional medicine.
Martine Razanadraibe, Urban Homestay Coordinator
Martine Razanadraibe is responsible for coordinating the program’s urban homestays. She has lived in Ivandry for more than 35 years and is the wife of the former president of Fokontany of Ivandry. A retired social worker, Martine still works on a voluntary basis with the Ministry of Health and the Red Cross Society on health-related issues involving mothers and children, such as vaccination and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
Lucie Razafindramiadana, Rural Homestay Coordinator
Lucie Razafindramiadana coordinates the program’s rural homestays. A native of Andasibe, Lucie holds a General Certificate in English Language and has taught English at CEG, a public college located there. She is also an environmental tour guide and a member of Mitsinjo, a local NGO involved in rural development and local environmental and conservation activities.
Other lecturers for this program include:
Professor Bernadin Victor Rabarijaona
Bernadin Victor Rabarijaona teaches Malagasy social and cultural anthropology with respect to traditional medicine. Bernadin is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Facultés des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines, Département des Lettres et Langues Malgache, at the University of Antananarivo, where he was responsible for setting up the department’s anthropology laboratory. He has been a consultant to the SIT National Identity and Social Change program since 1992 and serves as an ISP advisor to SIT Study Abroad students. His publications include,“Pole d’excellence: Contes, mythes et traditions populaires Ile Maurice” (2006),“Guide Gallimard” (2006),“Madagascar rubrique” (2007), and “Religion traditionnelle” (2008).
Dr. Herlyne Ramihantaniarivo
Herlyne Ramihantaniarivo lectures on topics such as access to health care, health-care funding, and poverty and its relation to health care. A practicing physician, Herlyne is Director General at the Ministry of Public Health, Focal Point of Madagascar for Global Funds, and coordinator of Project CURE since 2009. In addition to her MD from the University of Antananarivo School of Medicine, she earned an MPH in health management from the University of Hawaii. She is the founder and president of the Association Zahana, which is involved in rural development programs, including the provision of potable water. She is a member of the Cercle Chrétien de la Santé and the East-West Center Alumni-Hawaii. Herlyne’s presentations at national and international conferences and workshops include, “Use of Traditional Medicine in Reproductive Health Disorders.”
Nata Bozy is a traditional healer who specializes in mother and child health. During the rural homestay period, Nata teaches the use of plants and massage techniques for the prevention and treatment of diseases.
Telovavy is a traditional healer and a reninjaza (traditional birth attendant). A native of Andasibe II, she is known for her use of medicinal plants in the prevention and treatment of diseases as well as her involvement in maternal health issues in the Andasibe- Moramanga commune. She lectures on the use of medicinal plants in traditional medicine.