Gina Ait Mehdi

Status: PhD student

ULB-Institut de Sociologie
Avenue Jeanne, 44 - CP124 - B-1050 Bruxelles
Office : S12-208
Phone : +32-2-650 46 57 - Fax: +32-2-650 43 37
Mail :

PhD research title : Etude socioanthropologique - De la prise en charge de la "santé mentale" en Afrique de l’Ouest - La psychiatrie au Niger: genèse d’implantation, pratiques thérapeutiques et demandeurs de soins.

My research investigates institutional mental illness by psychiatry in Niger. This work was born out of an initial study in 2007 at the only center specialized for mental illness of the National Hospital of Niamey and the observation of the near absence of anthropological studies in the domain. The socio-anthropology of medicine in Niger is often overlooked, especially due to the fact that mental illness is not a principal illness preoccupation. Thus, this study asks a central question about the report between mental health practices in bio-medical institution and socio-cultural and politic local context. My work on these practices in Niger and West Africa is structured from three cardinal points: a socio-historical analysis of psychiatry since colonial time, an analysis of anchor from problematic institutional support and that of relation/cohabitation with illness emic conception, madness and local therapeutics practices.

Key words: anthropology - socioanthropology - "mental health" - psychiatry - Niger - West Africa

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