||Case study of a Ghanaian matrilineage
||Research on local perceptions
and practices with regard to sexual relationships and family planning
in a Ghanaian rural community (PhD. Research)
||Research on the distribution
and use of pharmaceuticals in Cameroon
||Rational use of medicines in
||Primary Health Care in Zambia.
||Research on social and cultural
meanings of old age in rural Ghana.
The project focuses on the social position and (self) perception of
elderly people in a rural community in Ghana. Special attention is devoted
to changes in the lives of older people, care activities, respect, dependence,
reciprocity, 'successful ageing', sexuality, wisdom, witchcraft,
death and funeral.
|1996 - present
||Culture, hygiene and sanitation
||Good and bad death in cross-cultural
This project explores the cross cultural variation in patterns of
disease, demographic factors, and cultural norms that influence the
experience of death, dying and grief, particularly with regard to
the cultural construction of different forms of dying as either 'good'
or 'bad'. Participants include medical and other health sector
workers, sociologists, anthropologists, epidemiologists and others.
The results have been published in a special issue of the journal
Social Science & Medicine and reflect a wide diversity of fieldwork
experiences from different parts of the world, including Australia,
Ghana, ancient Israel, ancient Greece and Rome, Japan, the Netherlands,
Papua New Guinea (Kaliai), the United Kingdom and United States.
Contrary to the opinion that hospitals are nearly identical clones
of a global biomedical model, anthropologists are beginning to describe
and interpret the variety of hospital cultures in different countries
and social settings. Medical views and technical facilities may vary
considerably leading to different diagnostic and therapeutic traditions.
In addition, hospitals are more than places of therapeutic intervention.
They may be religious institutions aimed at making converts, political
tools to establish control and reward followers, places of emotion
and family solidarity, workshops of science and technology, and centres
of commercial activity. Hospitals are also the domain where the core
values and beliefs of a culture make their presence most explicitly.
What really counts, what people believe most deeply and who are truly
'related' shows itself unambiguously in periods of crisis,
such as those occurring in the hospital. Hospital wards provide miniature
representations of dominant social and cultural phenomena of a given
society. Various authors participate in a cross-cultural project and
will contribute to a collection which demonstrate this perspective.
They will pay special attention to the link between the cultures within
and outside the hospital. The two leading themes of the project are:
the diversity of biomedical institutions in different social, cultural
and political settings (in contrast to the supposed cosmopolitan uniformity
of biomedicine) and the 'link' between medical practices in
hospital and important features of society at large. Two special issues
of Social Science & Medicine (2004) and Anthropology & Medicine
(2008) include contributions from the following countries: Australia,
Bangladesh, Denmark, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, The Netherlands,
South Africa, Uganda, and United States of America.
||Promoting access to and use
of Voluntary Counselling and Testing and Antiretroviral Therapy among
people living with AIDS in Ghana. (PhD researchers: Jonathan M. Dapaah
and Benjamin K. Kwansa)
Promoting access to and use of
Voluntary Counselling and Testing and Antiretroviral Therapy among
people living with AIDS in GhanaThe objective of this research programme
is to investigate in depth some of the key issues that inhibit people
in Ghana from taking up services of Voluntary Counselling and Testing
(VCT) and Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), both from the supply side
and from the demand side. Most of the research takes place in the
Ashanti Region, the most heavily populated region of Ghana with around
4 million people. Sentinel sero-surveillance conducted among antenatal
attendants in the area has shown an increase in HIV prevalence from
2.7 percent in 2000 to 4.4 percent in 2003, the second highest rate
in the country. The central research question is: How can uptake of
VCT and ART be increased in Ashanti region specifically, and more
generally in the rest of Ghana?
The programme consists of three interrelated research projects. Project
A will be carried out in two medical institutions involved in VCT
and ART, and will investigate how conditions in those institutions
influence uptake of VCT and ART. Project B will be conducted in communities
served by the above medical institutions and will research the clients’
points of view regarding VCT and ART and the way they are offered
to them through the medical channels. Social and cultural perceptions
of blame, shame and stigma will take a central place in the research.
Project C, finally, will synthesise the findings of above two projects,
relate them to district, national and international policies and translate
them into practical recommendations to policy-makers.
The study will shed light on how the above-mentioned services affect
people’s perceptions of and behaviour towards HIV/AIDS. One of the
assumptions is that the growing availability of antiretroviral medicines
may decrease the stigma of HIV/AIDS and make people more interested
in voluntary counselling and testing. The research combines qualitative
and quantitative methods, takes a multidisciplinary approach and has
a multi-stakeholder perspective, comparing and contrasting interests
and views of different actors in the management of HIV/AIDS.
Reaching the poor in Ghana’s National
Health Insurance Scheme (PhD researcher: Agnes M. Kotoh)
This program aims to design and evaluate interventions to stimulate
MHO enrolment, with special focus on the poor. Project 1 analyses
the impact, costs and process of problem solving programs to remove
barriers to enrolment at the level of the community, MHO and health
provider. Project 2 analyses the impact and costs of different approaches
to identify the poor in order to target premium exemptions, in two
different communities. In addition, project 3 evaluates the impact
of enrolment on health care utilization, with special reference
to the poor, in a cross-sectional analysis. All projects are carried
out in both rural and urbanized communities in Ghana.
Social and cultural aspects
of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Suriname (PhD researcher: Sahienshadebie
This project is part of a interdisciplinary research programme. It
has an anthropological approach and focuses on perceptions of and
treatment seeking behaviour for CL. Special attention will be given
to stigmatization and the related reluctance to seek biomedical
help. Preference for self-treatment and treatment by traditional
healers among various population groups will be studied in the context
of local social and cultural beliefs regarding health and disease
and CL in particular.