Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems (Summer)

“I have learned so much about traditional healing methods, healthcare systems in Madagascar, medicinal plants, and myself. My journey to Madagascar has greatly deepened my understanding of the difference between the theories I've learned in classroom lectures and the actual implementation of such theories here in Madagascar.”

-- Hannah Grill, George Washington University

Explore traditional and allopathic healthcare from the context of Madagascar.

This program examines how Madagascar's historical circumstances, geography, and demographics shape and inform the delivery of these sometimes competing, sometimes complementary healthcare systems.

The program incorporates lectures, field study, and interactive community involvement.  From their base in the capital city of Antananarivo (Tana) and through rural excursions, students learn firsthand about forms of treatment, methods of diagnosis, questions of access, and the education and training of healthcare professionals. 

From discussions with leading academics and allopathic doctors practicing conventional medicine at the University of Antananarivo Faculty of Science's Pharmacology Department and the School of Medicine to exchanges with traditional healers and herbalists at local markets, students acquire heightened sensitivity to the complexity of current debates over traditional and allopathic delivery models, not only in Madagascar, but globally. 

Students spend a portion of the program with Malagasy postgraduate students in pharmacology. Together, both groups engage in an educational excursion to Katsaoka near Antananarivo and also undertake lectures, as well as field-based exercises during a ten-day rural visit to Andasibe.

To become more immersed in Malagasy culture and daily life, students live with host families in Tana as well as Andasibe.

The program reveals the strong links between global healthcare challenges and economic, social, environmental, and political factors.  Students return better equipped to understand and address healthcare delivery as a transnational policy issue.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 9

Duration: 7 weeks

Program Base: Antananarivo

Language Study: Malagasy

Prerequisites: None, although students with a background in French will have many opportunities to use their French language skills. Read more...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Summer 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Summer 2012 Evaluations (PDF)
Summer 2011 Evaluations (PDF)

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