Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 21 (3), 275-82

The Reinterpretation of Western Pharmaceuticals Among the Mende of Sierra Leone

The Reinterpretation of Western Pharmaceuticals Among the Mende of Sierra Leone

C H Bledsoe et al. Soc Sci Med.

Abstract

The inappropriate use of Western medicines among the Mende of Sierra Leone is addressed as a cultural issue. We show that traditional beliefs about diseases and treatments have provided the explanatory framework for the contemporary Mende in reinterpreting the function of many Western medicines that are available to them. People appear to base their treatment decisions largely on traditional notions of the efficacy of a medicine of a particular color, consistency, taste, size, and reputed success in treating analogous illnesses. This helps to explain why people's uses of these medicines are often at odds with Western manufacturers' assumptions about their appropriate uses. Implications of these uses for local as well as international health are drawn.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 9 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles
Feedback