Bringing together traditional health practices and health?related rehabilitation: can this be done?


  • Alexandra Lewis-Gargett
  • Gwynnyth Llewellyn
  • Jennifer Smith-Merry


disability, inclusive development, rehabilitation, culture


This paper outlines the situation of health-related rehabilitation and traditional health practices in the Pacific Islands. Rehabilitation is a health strategy for improving the lives of people with disabilities through improving function and addressing environmental barriers. The World Report on Disability states that current health-related rehabilitation services are deeply inadequate for meeting need. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on governments to increase and strengthen rehabilitation systems with the WHO Global Disability Action Plan 2014-2020. At the same time WHO have a long history of promoting the value of traditional health systems and their contribution to health and well being. WHO support and encourage governments to strengthen quality of traditional health practises and integrate them in to their health systems. Yet the possibility of health-related rehabilitation and traditional health practices integrating and coordinating care is largely unexplored. Research investigating this knowledge gap is underway in the Solomon Islands