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Reviewing the Place of Traditional Orthopaedic Practitioners in Rural Bengal’s Health Care Scenario: A Study on Rajbanshis of Coochbehar District, West Bengal, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Geography, Sitalkuchi College, Sitalkuchi, District: Coochbehar, West Bengal-735108, India

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 5, Issue (10), Pages 6-10, October,14 (2016)


To understand the role played by the traditional health care providers in the treatment for bone fracture and to review their significance in the modern health care delivery system, this study enquired how people utilize the health services of traditional orthopaedic practitioners in rural areas of Coochbehar of West Bengal. This cross-sectional study, conducted at the traditional bone fracture centers concentrated around Nishiganj area of Coochbehar, West Bengal, adopted purposive sampling method. Interviews using semi-structured questionnaire were performed among the patients with mild to complicated cases of fracture and other musculoskeletal disorders, owners and medical staffs of the centers, local informants. Data were summarized, analyzed. About 80% of the patients reported that they opted for traditional methods at the first instance. Unconditional faith along with dissatisfaction with the modern treatment due to failure, lack of mental support, and comparative high costs are the reasons for visiting traditional providers. Most of the cases were found as cured. This study showed that even after implementation of modern health care system, traditional health care providers play great roles in the public health care system of rural Bengal. Reliance on traditional methods of treatment for bone fracture still exists among the rural people. The official recognition and integration of traditional health care providers in public health care system is essential as it could have a strengthening effect on the rural health care infrastructure. Moreover, it will help to ensure a more equitable health care utilization situation for the country’s population.


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