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Sherpa Beliefs And Western Medicine: Providing Health Care At Khunde Hospital, Nepal

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how continuing Sherpa beliefs and practices about ill health in Khumbu influence the provision of Western health care services. It demonstrates that Adams research has underestimated Sherpa agency in medical encounters, and thus overemphasised biomedical practice. The chapter highlights that the overseas volunteers at Khunde Hospital were willing to acknowledge and respect Sherpa beliefs and practices. A comparable situation is described by Martin Gaenszle in his study of the Mewahang Rai of East Nepal, in which he examined the interpretation of illness and the role of the shaman on the one hand, and that of the doctor and health post on the other. Finally, the author explains that it is through this spirit of trust and respect that Sherpa beliefs and practices can be maintained in medical and other encounters with the Khunde hospital.

Keywords: Khumbu; Khunde hospital; medical encounters; Mewahang Rai; Sherpa beliefs; Western health care services



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    Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003. Volume 10: Soundings in Tibetan Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
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