Symbolic Representations and Treatment of Health in African Traditional Medicine: The Example of Malaria in BaoulÃ©-Agba of CÃ´te dâIvoire
|Kouakou Bah Jean-Pierre*|
|Social anthropology of health, University of Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire|
|Corresponding Author :||Kouakou Bah Jean-Pierre
Social anthropology of health, University of Bouake
27 B.P 529 Abidjan 27, Côte d’Ivoire
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received July 20, 2013; Accepted August 22, 2013; Published August 28, 2013|
|Citation: Jean-Pierre KB (2013) Symbolic Representations and Treatment of Health in African Traditional Medicine: The Example of Malaria in Baoulé-Agba of Côte d’Ivoire. J Infect Dis Ther 1:110. doi: 10.4172/2332-0877.1000110|
|Copyright: © 2013 Jean-Pierre KB. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
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This study was accomplished from focus groups and from semi-directive discussions with chiefdoms and traditional therapist in Baoulé-agba’s communities in Côte d’Ivoire. It allowed understanding the link between symbolic representations and levels of treatment in traditional medicine from the example of malaria.
Three symbolic representations characterize malaria in Baoulé-agba’s medical culture. It is symbolisms linked to the animal, to color and to physical force. Wildlife symbol is the cat which certain elements bring closer to the sick man of malaria. The coloring of certain parts of the body of the sick man of malaria points out the degree of seriousness of disease. In effect, color allows differentiating the white malaria of the yellow malaria. The symbolism of physical force establishes difference between the male malaria and the female malaria or the serious malaria and the simple malaria.
These symbolisms constitute indicators of seriousness or lesser seriousness of the malaria and they orientate the therapeutic route based in general on traditional medicine. This one is composed of three levels of therapeutic appeals according to the degree of seriousness of disease.
The symbolic representations, which characterize the socio-cultural perception of Baoulé-Agba linked to the malaria, constitute reference elements for the efficient fight against this disease in this community.