Searching for a Cure: Health Care Behaviour Among the Q'eqchi' Maya in Southern Belize
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This thesis explores the health care behaviour of Q’eqchi’ Maya community members living in the Indian Creek village in southern Belize. Using an ethnographic approach based on three months of participation and interviews, this thesis focuses on how Q’eqchi’ villagers evaluate the effectiveness of practitioners and interventions, how they make treatment decisions, and their overall patterns of health care behaviour when an episode of sickness arises. It contends that members of this Indigenous community equally value the medical practice of both Q’eqchi’ and biomedical practitioners, and that they select between health care alternatives pragmatically, abiding by a cost-effectiveness analysis based on a specific social, cultural, and economic context. By showing how the involvement of local realities is necessary to improve health outcomes, this thesis identifies possible pitfalls of current international and Belizean models of care for Q’eqchi’ communities living in Belize, and provides recommendations that must be addressed in future health care research and planning.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
DepartmentArchaeology and Anthropology
SupervisorWaldram, James B.
CommitteeDowne, Pamela J.; Abonyi, Sylvia; Lambert, Simon J.; Nomokonova, Tatiana
Copyright DateDecember 2020