Medicine in Rural Zaire

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Abstract

Misunderstandings are likely to arise between the patient and physician when their cultures differ radically. They will not see the patient's condition in the same way. What they will expect of the medical encounter will differ greatly. This is true for the practice of medicine by “western” physicians in rural Zaire.

Most rural Zairians attribute serious diseases to inharmonious relationships between the affected person and a human antagonist or a malevolent spirit. Disease is caused by an enemy's effort to harm or kill his opponent. When the enemy, real or imaginary, is thought to injure his opponent by supernatural means,

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