ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Practices of Healing in Tribal Gujarat

Healthcare for the tribal population of Gujarat is highly inadequate, with people being systematically exploited by both legitimate doctors and quacks. Alternative forms of treatment continue to flourish, whether by traditional healers or by Christian faith healers. Three modes of healing - the biomedical, the traditional and Christian faith healing - are examined in this paper. Each can be seen to cater for particular needs, and so long as present socio-economic conditions remain as they are in the tribal regions, and the public healthcare system exists as it does, it seems unlikely that there will be any significant change.

Numerical Narratives and Documentary Practices

The documentary practices of target-setting, reporting, evaluation and supervision at the level of the district and the primary health centres are built around a bureaucratic organisation of information and allow for the production of 'numerical narratives' to fulfil the needs of the bureaucratic imagination of a successful public health programme wherein the record gains primacy over the event. Front-line health workers, ANMs are the focus of the analysis here, as they constantly negotiate between the health bureaucracy and the communities (local bureaucracies). This article demonstrates how programmatic goals are mediated by local contexts through these health workers, and how their perceptions and practices produce numerical narratives which meet the demands of rule and record bound bureaucratic imagination.
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