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How to Cope with Health Issues in Mondulkiri?

This webinar was recorded on May 27, 2022


Dr. Meriem M’zoughi’s research focuses on the ways in which the population of Northeastern Cambodia understands the body and life and how it perceives pathogenic agents and infections. For this webinar, Dr. M’zoughi will dig deeper into the health behaviors of the Bunong people who live in Mondulkiri. She will present the kinds of medicines and types of healing practices used and the logic of care of those medicines and practices. Then, she will describe some of their natural remedies: what ingredient(s) are used in which way(s) for what purpose. These data will give us information to better understand the local knowledge of remedies and how it could inform us of the “humoral qualities” which are at stake during a therapeutic process. Her point here will be to study the biological knowledge – concerning body composition and pathological processes – of Cambodians who do not have formal biomedical training. These ethnographical data will be contextualized by some anecdotes dealing with different  diseases, such as diabetes and covid-19.


Dr. Meriem M’zoughi is a socio-anthropologist specialized in the medical field. She is a CKS Research Fellow and an associated researcher at the IRASEC research lab (Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia) and the EVS research lab (Environment, City, Society), which are two French academic institutions. Meriem is interested in health, diseases, and medicines in Cambodia. She worked on the anthropology of cancer for her Ph.D. thesis and she undertook her fieldwork in Phnom Penh hospitals and beyond. Now, she is interested in health and healing practices, as well as the human-animal relationship linked with the perception of diseases.


Dr. Steve Heder has studied, worked in or taught about Southeast Asia and China since the early 1970s. He holds a PhD in Politics and has worked for the United Nations and various human rights organizations. He is currently a Research Associate at the Department of Politics and International Studies at the London School of Oriental and African Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Foreign Policy Institute. His particular research interests have included democracy, revolution, genocide and human rights.

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