To provide high-quality care, health professionals should be aware of the peculiarities that the patient has. These peculiarities include the patient’s family history as well as the background that comprises the cultural peculiarities of the patient. Since different ethnicities have their health care beliefs that have been formed historically under the influence of geographic position as well as political and economic factors. This paper discovers peculiarities of Haitian and Iranian heritage and their impact on the health care beliefs of these ethnicities.
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Geographical Localization and Topography
Haiti is a state in the Caribbean located on the island of Hispaniola. Two-thirds of its territory is mountainous. In the rest of the country, there are valleys, plateaus, and plains (Giger, 2013). Haiti neighbors Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. Iran is an Islamic country in the Middle East. It is located between Iraq and Pakistan and borders the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea (“Iran,” 2018). The territory is mainly mountainous with small plains along the coasts.
Politics and Economy
Haiti is a semi-presidential republic. The political situation in the country is not stable. One of the primary problems of Haiti is political corruption. The country follows a free market economy. It implies low-labor costs (“Haiti,” 2018). Almost half of the country’s economy depends on the agricultural sector. Due to low-paid jobs, not all Haitians can afford health insurance and, consequently, cannot receive enough care.
Iran is a theocratic republic. Its syncretic politics develops on the basis of Islamic ideology. The country is guided by both the Supreme Leader and the President. The economy of Iran depends on oil and gas exports (“Iran,” 2018). Many enterprises are state-owned or controlled by the government. The country has a strong industrial sector while agriculture is also developed.
Health Care Beliefs and the Relationship with their Religious Beliefs
Haitians combine Catholic religious beliefs with voodooism, which implies communication by trance with the deceased ancestors or saints. Voodooism also influences the health care beliefs of the Haitians. Thus, consider evil spirits to be the major cause of illnesses (Purnell, 2014). Moreover, they believe in the power of the supernatural, which strongly influences both the medical and psychological concerns of the Haitians.
As for Iranians, their traditional health beliefs are a mixture of Galenic, Islamic, and contemporary biomedicine (Purnell, 2014). On the whole, religion and traditions play an important role in health issues. For example, many Iranians are likely to seek the help of folk medicine and use herbs. Self-medication is also broadly spread within the population together with prescribed and over-the-counter medications. For Iranians, spirituality is important, and prayers are significant to provide peace of mind and thus contribute to better feeling (Purnell, 2014).
Views on Health, Illness, and Death
For Haitians, health is the achievement of equilibrium between Cho and fret. Proper nutrition, careful hygiene, prayer, and good spiritual habits are considered to be the components of health. Illness, in turn, is treated as a punishment. Also, illnesses are divided into natural (short and caused by environmental factors) and supernatural (caused by angry spirits). Haitians are usually expressive in reacting to the death of a relative; they may even cry and pray hysterically (Purnell, 2014). It is a common tradition to die at home with family at the bedside. There are some religious death rituals such as eye when family and friends come to cry, tell stories, and laugh at the house of the deceased, and Bernie price, a ritual consisting of a special praying service that lasts for seven days (Purnell, 2014).
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For Iranian people, illness is a result of an imbalance in such qualities as hot/cold or wet/dry (Purnell, 2014). Therefore, treatment is the restoration of this balance. Sacred medicine is also important. One of these sacred traditions is the belief that the “evil eye” can cause health problems. Also, Iranians practice somatizing, which allows constructing an illness that can be understood. Being Muslim, Iranian people believe that death is “not a termination of life but rather the beginning of a new and better life” (Purnell, 2014, p. 260). Death rituals include washing the body in a specific manner. Cremation is not a regular practice among Iranian people.
To summarizing, it should be mentioned that every heritage is unique as well as its influence on ethnicity. Nevertheless, despite the peculiarities they possess, cultural heritages have a significant impact on both Haitian and Iranian people. Thus, both ethnicities, Christian Haitians and Muslim Iranians consider the religious aspect meaningful in the issues of health and care. For example, prayer is present in both cultures as a necessary component of treatment. Still, Iranians are calmer when it comes to the issue of death. On the whole, it can be concluded that cultural heritage determines the health behaviors of both Haitian and Iranian people. Therefore, healthcare professionals should possess this information to provide patients with high-quality care.
Giger, J. (2013). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
Haiti. (2018). Web.
Iran. (2018). Web.
Purnell, L. D. (2014). Guide to culturally competent health care (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.