Western and Traditional Healthcare

1715 Words7 Pages
Healthcare professionals have been trying to establish western healthcare in Haiti due to the increasing number of Haitians being infected by AIDS. However, Haitians choose to see voodoo priests instead of western medical doctors because religion is very important to them and voodoo priests provide the spiritual healing they seek. The consequence of western doctors not understanding the importance of voodoo religion in the treatment process is the biggest deterrent to Haitians accepting western healthcare. Instead of trying to make Haitians change their beliefs, healthcare professionals should work with voodoo priests to increase AIDS awareness. Undoubtedly, their role as a trusted spiritual advisor and healer would be used to influence…show more content…
In addition, doctors can learn how to establish a trustful relationship with Haitians by observing healing ceremonies preformed by Voodoo priests. Through this learning process, western doctors will begin to understand the importance of non-western methods for the treatment of Haitian’s illnesses. According to McCabe (2007), the acknowledgement and acceptance of non-western interpretations and techniques is paramount to the process of treating ethnic minority clients. Since traditional healers are acknowledged in their community as being a trusted spiritual healer it is critical for healthcare practitioners to understand the role of the traditional healers in counseling, health promotion and education.
“Given that between 65% - 80% of the worlds human population is dependent on traditional and alternative medicine as their primary healthcare, it becomes necessary that these issues be part of the discourse on health and healing in the 21 century”. (World Health Organization,

Combining western and voodoo approaches to health and well-being will meet the cultural, spiritual and physical needs of Haitians. It will increase their ability to establish a trusting doctor-patient relationship, and so Haitians will become more open to accepting western healthcare treatment for AIDS. A successful collaboration between voodoo priests and western doctors will assist in the progress of obtaining referral’s in both directions; this
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