Dr Oliver Herbert
Menzies Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health
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|Curriculum vitae||Curriculum vitae|
Oliver Herbert’s main interest is to bring together the disciplines of anthropology, medicine, history and public health, to draw a more comprehensive picture of illness and health. The differences in language and concepts characteristic of scholars from different traditions (especially qualitative vs. quantitative) are often so pronounced that fruitful cooperation is largely undermined - despite an overall growing interest in interdisciplinary work. Combining qualitative and quantitativeapproaches, Dr. Herbert’s current research illuminates the effects of Melanesian tradition and Western modernity on public health in Papua New Guinea: specifically, how are explanatory models of illness shaped in an intercultural context, why do certain decision-making processes favour traditional treatment approaches, whereas others may favour biomedical ones, what are the actual diagnostic and therapeutic options within traditional and Western medicine on Karkar Island (phytomedicine, Western pharmacotherapy, spiritual healing, Christian healing, traditional healers, Western doctors…), what are the effects of parasites on the immune system in respect to allergies, what is the relevance of indigenous social behavior in the health context (sexuality/HIV, betel nut chewing/oral cancer) and what are the benefits and problems of a “dual/mixed” traditional-modern health system?
Public health, medical anthropology, environmental allergology, atopic diseases, health in non-industrialized countries, history of medicine, Papua New Guinea, explanatory models of illness, multidisciplinary qualitative-quantitative approaches.