New Open Access Article: Traditional Medicine and Primary Health Care in Sri Lanka: Policy, Perceptions, and Practice

Posted on 12 February 2018

Read Margaret Jones' latest co-authored article in Asian Review of World Histories.

Former CGHH Research Fellow Dr Margaret Jones’ co-authored (with Chandani Liyanage) journal article, titled ‘Traditional Medicine and Primary Health Care in Sri Lanka: Policy, Perceptions, and Practice’, is now available via the Asian Review of World Histories’ website. This is an open access article available to all to view.

The research underpinning this article was generously supported by the Wellcome Trust (Grant No. 097737/Z/11/Z) and derives from the wider project ‘The Local Bases of Global Health: Primary Health Care in South Asia and Beyond, 1945-2010’ led by Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya at the University of York Department of History’s Centre for Global Health Histories.

Primary Health Care was launched on the international stage by the World Health Organization’s Alma Ata Declaration of 1978. This article begins by unpicking the concept of primary health care as it evolved after Alma Ata and then explores its implementation in Sri Lanka and the extent to which Ayurveda (a blanket term for the traditional medical systems of Sri Lanka) has been integrated into the government health care system. The substantive part of the article analyzes the responses of the traditional practitioners who were invited to explore the issues outlined above in a series of interviews. Part historical and part sociological, this discussion of the similarities and the divergences between the approaches of biomedicine and traditional medicine in Sri Lanka from the perspective of the Ayurvedic practitioner exposes the tenuous and disconnected part they play within the biomedical health care system at the practical level.

Read more about the ‘Local Bases of Global Health: Primary Health Care in South Asia and Beyond, 1945-2010’ project