Developing countries with large nomadic populations have found it difficult to cater for itinerant people in their healthcare strategies. Some have tried to settle nomads, others to bring in health workers from outside the nomadic community, both costly and ineffective intervention measures. The author advocates a strategy which seeks to build on the traditional healers’ and birth attendants’ skills present in nomadic communities, to encourage self-care as far as sensibly possible, and to take account of `community ecology, the definition of an epidemiological profile…and group identity’ when planning health services.
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