Stefanie Granado: "C'est le palu qui me fatigue" : une étude en l'anthropologie de la santé sur les conceptions et les pratiques locales face au paludisme à Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

PhD-thesis within the framework of the NCCR North-South, University of Basel, Faculty of Science (2007)

In Abidjan the term palu (from French “paludisme” for malaria) is widely used in everyday life. What does palu mean to urban dwellers and what are their responses to face palu? By focusing on the patients in an urban context and their cultural construction of illness experience this study greatly contributes to medical anthropology literature on the Côte d’Ivoire. The author shows that palu in Abidjan doesn’t only mean the specific disease caused by Plasmodium species, but also refers to the general malaise associated with living in a harsh urban environment. Palu is thus linked to a general vulnerability anchored in the urban field. Moreover, the study demonstrates that social context and cultural concepts of illness influence access to appropriate and timely treatment for malaria and should therefore be considered.