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Quack


Quack person who pretends to have knowledge and skill in medicine. Quacks are in fact some novices, half-trained and unskilled impostors of doctors who practice all systems of medicine and treat all kinds of ailments, although they possess little or no knowledge for such practices. Their practice of medicine is based mainly on their long experience or acquaintance with the health care practices and quackery.

Most of the quacks obtain their experience by working as medical or nursing assistants or helps with the registered physicians or working as dispensers in hospitals, clinics and medicine shops or dispensaries. During their apprenticeship they gradually get acquainted with the symptoms of some common diseases, learn the names of the drugs and medicines, and develop a kind of skill in using thermometers, stethoscopes, blood pressure measuring instrument, and pushing injections and intravenous fluids. With this type of knowledge most of the quacks start their practice. Many of them do not even possess this type of rudimentary knowledge and experience, particularly those who practice in the remote villages. They are self-trained and semi-educated or even illiterate people.

Hundreds of quacks practice in the rural areas of Bangladesh and other developing and underdeveloped countries of Asia and Africa. They range from allopathic medicine practitioners to hakims, kavirajes, homeopaths, midwives, birth attendants, snake charmers, spiritualists to bonesetters and blood-letters. Although sometimes they pose a serious threat to health of the people by complicating diseases by wrong diagnosis and wrong treatment, in many cases, particularly in the rural areas, they constitute a good source of manpower at the primary health care level. [Abdul Ghani]