Homeopathic Health Care in a Low-income Housing Estate in Durban: Possibilities for a Plural Health Care Model in South Africa

By Kira Erwin, Monique Marks and Ingrid Couchman.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 24, 2014 $US5.00

Homeopathy is often seen in contrast to the dominant model of public allopathic medicine. A case study of a free homeopathic community clinic in a low-income housing estate in Durban, South Africa, suggests that a more productive model for addressing community health and wellness should see homeopathy as part of the solution to affordable public healthcare. Drawing on short structured interviews and clinician data, this paper analyses community responses to the clinic. In the context of South Africa’s ailing public health system, a pluralistic approach extends the benefits of choice, accessibility, affordability, and a focus on the individual as user.

Keywords: Community Clinic, Low-income Communities, Plural Health Care Model, Homeopathy, South Africa

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2014, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 24, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 530.067KB)).

Dr. Kira Erwin

Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Dr. Kira Erwin completed her M.Phil. from Cambridge (UK) and her doctorate in sociology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Currently she holds a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity, based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her interests lie in urban ethnography, oral histories and race thinking in society, and what kinds of shifts and transformations are taking place in this regard in South Africa and elsewhere, particularly in how notions of place and belonging, as well as gender and class, intersect and intertwine with ideas of race. In addition to this research, she works on the Kenneth Gardens’ community engagement and research programme where various projects are informed through research and community participation.

Dr. Monique Marks

Associate Professor, Department of Community Development, Durban University of Technology, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Professor Monique Marks is currently based in the faculty of engineering and the built environment at the Durban University of Technology in South Africa. She is a registered social worker and received her doctorate in sociology from the University of Natal in South Africa. She worked as a research fellow in the Regulatory Institutions Network at the Australian National University for three years. Professor Marks is interested in issues of plural governance. She has explored this issue through the lens of security, and more recently in regard to health. She has published four books. She has also published widely in peer-reviewed journals on the areas of ethnography, youth social movements, police labour relations, and security governance. In recent years she has become interested in the dynamics of community development and in community wellness programmes.

Dr. Ingrid Couchman

Lecturer, Homeopathy Department, Durban University of Technology, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Dr. Couchman has a master's degree in homeopathy from the Durban University of Technology, where she is a lecturer in the homeopathy department. She lectures in diagnostics and clinical homoeopathy and supervises master degree students. She is also a clinician at the homeopathic day clinic at the University and has spear-headed the Kenneth Gardens homoeopathic clinic, where she is the main clinician.