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MARKET OF HEALTH IN TIME OF CRISES. BIOMEDICAL DRUGS, TRADITIONAL REMEDIES AND PLURAL MEDICAL SYSTEM IN MEKELLE, ETHIOPIA. [Abstract ID: 1207-14]
A drug can be seen as any organic or mineral compound which is considered - by a certain community in a specific social-historical situation - as able to face-off, and often to defeat, what in that context is thought of as sickness. We can define a drug as the material output of any therapeutic relationship. Analyzing the role of pharmaceuticals in a the growing urban reality of Mekelle and sketching Mekelle's medical system in its plurality (biomedical, traditional and religious sources), using the bourdean concept of field of forces, the different social actors in the arena can be seen as competing against each other to gain a position. All resources use something that can be considered as a drug (pills and injections; mineral and organic compound; holy water and soil). Analyzing the role of these diverse pharmaceuticals within the field of forces stresses their role in defining the different position of any actor. Further focus is on how it affects the way different actors perceive different drugs, and the changes that are going on (i. e. industrial production of “traditional” drugs). Focusing on the current financial crisis and the effects of the global pharmaceutical market on the local context, the A. will describe how it builds diversification in production and use, as well as inequalities.