We must get her to the hospital
right away! They can reach
inside to take the placenta out
and stop the bleeding.
Finding the best treatment
I am going to have to
reach inside to get
the placenta out.
It is much too
dangerous! It is
safer in the
Yes, very! But the road is
washed out by the rain — and
there is no way to get help
before she bleeds to death.
Types of medicine
Around the world, people use many different ways of healing:
• Traditional medicine (also called folk medicine): These
ways of healing have been passed down from older healers
to younger ones for many generations. Traditional ways of healing use
massage, plant medicines, and communication with the spiritual world.
Traditional medicines, particularly home remedies, can be very effective.
They are often the safest, easiest, and least costly treatments for most health
problems. And when money runs out, or outside aid groups leave, the plants,
massage techniques, and other traditional ways of healing will still be here.
Many traditional medicines have been tested using science. Testing has shown
that some traditional medicines work well and others do not, or they only
work because people’s belief in them is strong. Some traditional
medicines are harmful or dangerous.
• Western medicine: This system of healing relies on scientific testing,
manufactured medicines (drugs), and surgery to treat health problems.
• Non-Western systems like acupuncture, ayurveda, or homeopathy:
These systems of healing may have been used for thousands of years,
are taught in books and schools, and may have been tested using science.
Many of these systems also use plant medicines.
One person may use several of these ways of healing.
There is not enough space in this book to fully describe every system of healing.
What is important to remember is that each type of healing has benefits, and that
any kind of medicine must be used with care.
A Book for Midwives (2010)