Hmong Health

RECENT POSTS

From Heartbreaking Miscomprehension Comes New Understanding

Lia Lee in 1988. (Photo: Anne Fadiman)

Lia Lee in 1988. (Photo: Anne Fadiman)

Today, it’s hard enough for doctors and patients to communicate effectively, even if they share the same primary language. But layer on not only language differences, but also a yawning cultural chasm, and a visit to western medicine might lead to a child being removed from the care of her parents.

That was the case for Lia Lee, a young Hmong refugee in Merced who suffered from epilepsy. As Anne Fadiman profiled in her riveting book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Lia’s doctors grew frustrated by her parents’ unwillingness to follow their prescriptions for treatment, and the doctors ultimately had Lia legally removed from her parents’ care.

As the New York Times reports:

In traditional Hmong belief, qaug dab peg, [Hmong for epilepsy] like many illnesses, is spiritual in origin, caused when the soul becomes separated from the body. A traditional cure might entail visits from a shaman, who would attempt to reunite body and soul. Continue reading

ouRXperience: An “F” in Air Quality; Hmong Shaman Training; Healthy Food Access; Child Abuse Awareness

Wood-burning stoves are a major source of air pollution in Butte County. (Photo: Marley Zalay)

Editor’s Note: KQED produces ouRXperience, a blog from community correspondents, to enrich coverage of health issues across California.

Recently, ouRXperience featured posts from four California communities:

Continue reading

ouRXperience: Bridge to Western Medicine for Immigrants; Safety Helps Build Healthy Communities; Spike in Homicides

The mother and brother of murder victim Meldrick Melgoza embrace at the site where he was shot. (Photo: Anabell Romero)

The mother and brother of murder victim Meldrick Melgoza embrace at the site where he was shot. (Photo: Anabell Romero)

Editor’s Note: KQED produces ouRXperience, a blog from community correspondents, to enrich coverage of health issues across California.

Recently, ouRXperience featured posts from three California communities: