PLoS One

PLoS One
[Accessed 22 April 2017]

Research Article
School nurses’ attitudes towards and experiences of the Swedish school-based HPV vaccination programme – A repeated cross sectional study
Maria Grandahl, Margareta Larsson, Tanja Tydén, Christina Stenhammar
| published 18 Apr 2017 PLOS ONE


Research Article
The coexistence of traditional medicine and biomedicine: A study with local health experts in two Brazilian regions
Sofia Zank, Natalia Hanazaki
| published 17 Apr 2017 PLOS ONE
This study investigated the combined use of traditional medicine and biomedicine by local experts in Chapada do Araripe communities (Ceará State) and maroon communities (Santa Catarina State), Brazil. The objective was to understand the perception of local health specialists regarding the number of healers, demand for healers and use of medicinal plants, and the dependence of different environments to obtain such plants. We also aimed to understand the role of medicinal plants to treat different categories of diseases and if there is a complementary use of medicinal plants and allopathic biomedicine, according to the context of each group. The research was conducted with local health specialists that answered structured interviews, created free lists and participated in guided tours to collect cited plants. Sixty-six local health specialists were identified in the Araripe communities and 22 specialists in the maroon communities. In the maroon communities, a greater number of specialists thought there was a decrease in the number and demand for healers, as well as the use of medicinal plants, due to changes in traditional livelihoods, since they are located in a region where the effects of the modernization were more intense. In the Chapada do Araripe communities the specialists knew more plants extracted from native vegetation, whereas in the maroon communities cultivated plants were better known, which may reflect the environmental conditions and the history of each region. Medicinal plants are preferred to treat simpler health problems that do not require medical care, such as gastrointestinal problems, general pain, flues and colds. The biomedicine is used principally for problems with blood pressure, general pains and endocrine and nutritional diseases. Even with the particularities of each region, in general the use of medicinal plants and biomedicines occurred in a complementary form in both regions; however, this coexistence may result from these different contexts. This study also found that there was knowledge and appreciation for traditional health practices in both regions.