chapter  29
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Medical Anthropology An Important Adjunct to International TB Control

This chapter was written with two audiences in mind: the medical practitioner in the field and the public health policy maker. If it achieves its aims, the practitioner will have sharpened his sensibilities and awareness of the supreme importance of the person behind the patient in the socio-cultural sense. He also might run through a socio-anthropological mental checklist when addressing the needs of his patients, availing himself of expert advice to guide him in providing the best possible treatment for his patients. Likewise, the policy maker will incorporate specific measures of integrated social science research into any program he or she designs or supervises. Health, in the words of the World Health Organization (WHO), is more than absence of disease. "It is a result of a complex mix of social, economic, political and environmental factors, all of which reflect complex issues of power, status and resource distribution ... To a considerable extent, health depends on the political, social, cultural, economic and physical environment"

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not purport to represent the opinions of the agencies with which they are associated.