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Understandings and social practices of medications for Zimbabwean households in New Zealand

Author(s): Stanley Kamutingondo | Shiloh Groot | Darrin Hodgetts | Linda Waimarie Nikora

Journal: MAI Review
ISSN 1177-5904

Volume: 2011;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: healthy communities | indigenous | medications | Zimbabwean households

Medications are a central part of health care. How medications are understood and used by people in everyday life remains unclear. This study looks at understanding and social practices of medications in everyday life for Zimbabwean households in New Zealand. This project investigates understandings of medications and their use, taking account of all forms of medications, medical drugs, alternative medicines, traditional medicines and dietary supplements. Four Zimbabwean migrant families who all reside in Hamilton took part in this study. Data were collected using a variety of methods which included individual interviews with the families, household discussions, photographs, diaries, material objects, and media content to capture the complex and fluid nature of popular understandings and use of medications. This research provides insight into the cultural values and practices of these four families pertaining to how they acquired, used, shared, and stored indigenous and biomedical medications. Four key themes were identified: the preference of biomedical over traditional medications, storage, sharing and safety of medications; availability and affordability of medications; and the influence of the media in making decisions to purchase medications. Knowledge of how meanings are linked to the things people do with medications will inform strategies for ensuring that medication use is safe and effective.
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