Event Summary: Traditional health care practices of women in the Himalayan communities of India

WGH sponsored a talk with Dr. Anjali Capila, Associate Professor at Lady Irwin College in New Delhi, on July 29, 2015. In her talk, “Traditional health care practices of women in the Himalayan communities of India: A Qualitative perspective,” Dr. Capila offered insights into women’s holistic understanding of health in the Kumaon region. Dr. Capila highlighted the interconnectedness of family, society, and health, noting that culture is an important determinant for addressing the health needs of any community. She illustrated through her qualitative research that women’s health is affected by their status in the family, their daily work, men’s participation, and their own agency and voice in decision-making processes. Women are repositories of traditional health care practices in the region, and Dr. Capila noted that the integration of their voices is essential for sustainability of health care interventions. As such, Dr. Capila advocated for a blend between traditional health practices and modern medical systems in India. She also outlined a program resulting from her participatory research which led to the creation of a training center for local adolescent girls on Reproductive and Child Health issues and skill-building.