In the small Nepali hill village of Noju, the presence of diverse healing traditions creates a complex landscape that both patients and providers must navigate. Based on ethnographic research in this setting, this thesis applies a framework of “medicine answering” to examine the role of female community health volunteers (FCHVs) in creating alliances among community members, local healers, and biomedical practitioners. I argue that FCHVs are uniquely suited for this role because they conform to the moral and social structures of the communities they serve, allowing them to effectively communicate and empathize with their patients. In highlighting the ways in which FCHVs work in partnership with diverse health practitioners, this thesis both addresses a gap in the research on community health workers and may inform policies and programs aimed at improving the health of rural communities throughout Nepal.


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