Violence and Medical Pluralism among the Karimojong and the Dodoth in Northeastern Uganda

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Based on the corporeal suffering caused by violence and the local coping mechanisms, this article describes and analyzes local pluralistic health systems shaped by interaction between the emergency medical humanitarian aid and healing practices under the disarmament and sedentarization policy among the pastoral societies of northeastern Uganda such as the Karimojong and the Dodoth. To cope with maternal death and illness during home birth, the Karimojong created a medical system called "semi-permanent settlement of female local healers, " which combines the local lifestyle with biomedical services. Through interpersonal relationships, the Karimojong established the local healthcare system involving modern Western biomedicine with the help of humanitarian aid. The Dodoth laypeople and local medical staff employed by the medical humanitarian organization seek to heal sick persons with mental disorders in such a local way as to break the social chain of violence by encouraging the victims of violence to forget their past experiences. Local healing practices among the Dodoth are characterized by resistance against violence, combining different cultural and ecological resources, and the daily subsistence activities in pastoralism. Pastoralists preserve the will of good health and well-being by means of maintaining fluidity in healthcare and medicine.


  • African study monographs. Supplementary issue.

    African study monographs. Supplementary issue. (53), 69-84, 2017-03

    The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University


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