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Diabetes inside and outside of the body: a psycho-anthropological analysis of the treatment of "sugar disease" in Cameroon

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Diabetes, in addition to its deadly projections in developing countries, is a public health problem worldwide. This article attempts to highlight the link between the beliefs of the Cameroonian populations on diabetes and behaviors they tend to develop based on these beliefs. This metabolic disorder is then considered as a disease of the “biological body” because of chemical reactions taking place in the body of the individual, but also as a disease of the “social body” because it involves several social actors (health professionals, parents, patients, traditional therapists). By using social science research methods and a psychopathological approach, the authors attempt to show how patients, affected in their suffering and engaged in multiple health care trajectories including phytotherapy, sometimes find themselves involved into ritual practices, in order to prevent and cure the disease.


diabetes, sugar, diet, metabolic disease, social disease, phytotherapy