Beyond the indigenous: health and interculturality at the global level


  • Michael Knipper Médico, Doctor en Medicina, Instituto de Historia de la Medicina, Justus-Liebig-Universität. Giessen, Germany.



Cultural competency, Emigration and Immigration, Cultural diversity, Ethnic groups, Primary health care


Health inequalities are broadly documented for ethnic minority groups and immigrants worldwide. Intercultural perspectives in health are thus developed in very different places and situations. Both the criteria for defining the target groups as well as the ways the health problems of these groups are looked at, are shaped by the particular local context. However, some challenges are common to almost all situations where the topic of ethnic diversity and health is considered. And in contrast to the rather novel term, the issues at stake in “intercultural heath” are not new at all. Against this background, the present article brings into focus three essential points: the necessity of defining ethnicity adequately to avoid stereotyping and the creation of new inequalities; the challenge of converting ethnicity into a helpful and thus “healthy” category in the field of medicine and health; and the need for the integration of explicit and serious reflections on medical ethics and human rights that provide for the normative framework and moral orientation of health activities with indigenous, migrant and other particularly vulnerable groups.


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How to Cite

Knipper M. Beyond the indigenous: health and interculturality at the global level. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [Internet]. 2010 Mar. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 23];27(1). Available from: