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People’s Belief Systems

Question Description

Please respond to discussion 1 and reply to the peer discussion

Discussion 1

Discuss the impact of people’s belief systems in the management of disease. Refer to Mwenesi (2003).… Use the cultural sensitivity skills learned in module 1.

Peer Discussion

People's belief systems have a huge impact on the management of disease. Mwenesi states, "The belief system forms the basis of categorization of illnesses into serious, mild or mundane, which in turn determines the promptness with which care is sought…" Some people believe that malaria isn't something they need to have treated by health care professionals. Since malaria is prevalent among poor communities, people deal with malaria frequently and do not think it is necessary to treat it.

People's belief systems affect management of many other diseases as well, not just malaria. For example, there are many cultural perspectives that view some illnesses as hot or cold. Haitians, Hmong, Puerto Ricans, Cambodians, and many more believe in the equilibrium between hot and cold in the body. This belief might affect how soon they seek treatment at a medical facility. Many belief systems have home remedies that they use first before going to a hospital. The delay of seeking treatment might cost the life of some individuals. Malaria is one of the instances where people can't or won't seek medical assistance. This might be due to thinking of the disease as needing nonessential treatment or they are too poor to afford medical treatment. This in turn leads to exacerbation of the illness and at the cost of some people's lives.

Mwenesi, H. (2003). Sociocultural and behavioural issues in the treatment and prevention of malaria. World Health Organization. Geneva: Switzerland

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