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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 463-464
Public health role of Mahayana Buddhist temple in urban and rural community: A comparison

Public Health Curriculum, Surin Rajabhat University, Surin, Thailand

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Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2017

How to cite this article:
Kaewla W, Wiwanitkit V. Public health role of Mahayana Buddhist temple in urban and rural community: A comparison. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:463-4

How to cite this URL:
Kaewla W, Wiwanitkit V. Public health role of Mahayana Buddhist temple in urban and rural community: A comparison. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Jul 14];10:463-4. Available from:
Dear Sir,

The public health role of religious unit in public health system is very important.[1],[2] Here, the authors would like to discuss on the role of Mahayana Buddhist Temple. From the site survey among many Mahayana Buddhist temples in urban and rural communities in Thailand, some interesting features can be seen. In the rural communities, the temple still has the role in community public health by providing spiritual care support, local health care wisdom (alternative medicine and herbal medicine), and acting as community health care center.[3] In addition, symbolization in health issue can be seen.

In the urban communities, very few role of the temple can be seen. Surprisingly, the urban temple acts only as a center to religious belief with lack of health care support to the community. Many urban temples turn to business issues such as a renting site for car parking.

Nevertheless, focusing on religious objects, healing Buddha image can still be seen in each temple but some temples in urban communities renew the sculptures, and one rebuilt the temple as a high building. Of interest, it can be seen that the religious objects can still be maintained in either rural or urban sites. Spiritual care is usually an important feature of rural medicine and it can be reflected from religious-based public health system [4] as seen in our findings. But the public health care role is diminished in the urban sites where already modernization has occurred.


This work is support for research funding of Surindra Rajabhat University, Thailand.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Tomkins A, Duff J, Fitzgibbon A, Karam A, Mills EJ, Munnings K, et al. Controversies in faith and health care. Lancet 2015;386:1776-85.   Back to cited text no. 1
Matthews DA, McCullough ME, Larson DB, Koenig HG, Swyers JP, Milano MG. Religious commitment and health status: A review of the research and implications for family medicine. Arch Fam Med 1998;7:118-24.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kaewla W, Wiwanitkit V. Local primary health care by local religious center: A case study of a Mahayana Buddhist temple, Thailand. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:226.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
Carey LB, Hennequin C, Krikheli L, O'Brien A, Sanchez E, Marsden CR. Rural health and spiritual care development: A review of programs across rural Victoria, Australia. J Relig Health 2015. [Epub ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 4

Correspondence Address:
Wasana Kaewla
Surindra Rajabhat University, Maung Surin District, Surin Province
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.188506

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