Community Based Rehabilitation in Botswana the Myth of the Hidden Disabled

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The Community-Based Rehabilitation program (CBR) was developed by WHO, with the initial idea that it should be linked to already-existing infrastructures. The program was field-tested in several countries. This book is based on fieldwork done in Botswana in 1981-84 and is the only monograph based on an intensive study of the implementation and functioning of the CBR program. As such, the volume is a groundbreaker in the fields of social/community medicine and rehabilitation. It will also be of great interest to those in the growing field of Medical Anthropology. The author is the co-editor of Disability and Culture, a collection of articles recently published by the University of California Press.


“Its provocative subtitle. . . refers to the production of discourse in the early 1980s about disabled people in developing countries as ‘being hidden’ by their family members, a discourse shared by both Western and local administrators that legitimated the introduction of disability programs such as CBR. Ingstad effectively dispels this myth by meticulously documenting the status of what she coins ‘the disabled family’ (as opposed to the disabled individual) in the context of Botswana ecology and culture, in particular the processes of care within the household by family members, mostly mothers and especially grandmothers. . . . provide[s] a framework for scholars interested in studying the cultural construction of disability. . . . will be of great utility to international rehabilitation professionals and should be brought to the attention of African disability leaders and communities.” – Medical Anthropology Quarterly

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