Bridging the Gap between the Psychiatric Sector and the Social Sciences – Azza Ahmed Abd al-Aziz

Bridging the Gap between the Psychiatric Sector and the Social Sciences: The Position of Internal Displacement within the Debate

Azza A.A. Aziz

anthropologue, SOAS, Londres

Khartoum Teaching Hospital_001

This paper is based on my experience conducting research in Khartoum North Hospital for Nervous Disorders and within diverse communities of Internally Displaced Persons in Khartoum. It strives to highlight some queries about the nature of healing and how it forges an understanding of the relationships of people from different backgrounds living in Khartoum. The paper will explore the role of medical practice in general and psychiatric care in particular in the generation of understandings of suffering and ill-health. It also clarifies how they impact on the lives of patients and how this casts a special focus on aspects of the situation of internally displaced people from Southern Sudan.

The arguments in this paper will start with a case study to illustrate the goals of this presentation and support my theoretical argument. This theoretical framework is based   on three points: a) The introduction of bio-medicine in Sudan and its position, b) contributions of the social sciences in identifying that there is a problem in the practice of bio-medicine and more specifically psychiatry. c) challenges on the ground.  Finally my analysis will establish the interface between modes of practice and internal displacement and how it offers a commentary on healing in general. The points expounded in this presentation should shed some light on the problematic nature of identity and power in Sudan.

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