Traditional medicine in Yemen comprises medical beliefs and practices which are determined by a variety of epidemiological, cultural, historical, and economic factors. These include, first of all, the range of common diseases caused, in great part, by the interaction between a harsh unsanitary environment and the poor nutritional status of the Yemen population. Another factor influencing medical beliefs and practices is the rich cultural repertoire of Islam. The heritage of Islam provides not only the philosophical rationale for therapy but also its scientific bases. Finally, Yemen’s historical experience, having been comparatively isolated from the western world, has retarded the spread of the western model of medicine throughout the country. Only recently, with starting changes in the Yemeni economy and the strengthening of the Ministry of Health, have modern practitioners, clinics and synthetic medicaments come within reach of more, but by no means all, ordinary Yemenis. Thus modern Yemen may provide insights into the relationship between socio-economic development and health and the process of medical pluralism.


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Fleurentin
  • Cynthia Myntti
  • Jean Marie Pelt

There are no affiliations available

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