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The people of the Kandoka village located in Papua New Guinea have quite a unique way of life that differs from that of Western civilization in several ways They are essentially a simple society based on subsistence horticulture and occasional hunting With a population of approximately four hundred people the Kandoka village is the largest of the five coastal villages of Lusi-Kaliai speakers Travel between these different communities is achieved by foot or sea and usually requires a substantial amount of time This can be quite problematic in cases of medical emergency Although a registered nurse is located at an Aid Post a few miles from the village more serious cases are often referred to hospitals quite far away The Kaliai have now been in contact with Western culture for over a century and with Western medicine for almost fifty years They have still managed to maintain their strong cultural beliefs and practices while at the same time integrating certain aspects of Western culture into theirs In this essay I will discuss how the availability of Western medicine has affected how the Kaliai perceive and explain causes of illness and methods of treatment when they seek this type of treatment and how they explain and deal with its failure I will then proceed to comment on how and when traditional treatment is exercised and what happens if this method fails The information used in the discussions is provided in a series of case histories documented by Drs Dorothy and David Counts It is from these cases we find that the people of the Kandoka village have generally accepted Western medicine and use it in varying combinations with traditional practices Western Medicines Impact on Perceptions of Illness With the introduction of Western medicine into the Kandoka village came new ways of explaining illness and providing treatment Contact with Western missionaries had established a great deal of respect for their culture through both their kindness and their
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