Henri Stephen did his military services in the Netherlands and was engaged in serveral medical duties. He worked in several millitary hospitals in Suriname as well in the Netherlands. During his military service he was often sent into the jungle and was entrusted dities, which required medical skill.
In The Netherlands he succeeded in getting serveral medical certificates
for the treatment of organic and psychiatric deseases. He was initiated
into the traditional medical care of Suriname. He has followed courses
for medical analyst, and anaethesia. Henri Stephen became a link between
the two cultures. He introduced on the one hand the traditional health
Winti, which is the traditional health into the Dutch healthcare and on
the other hand he brought psychiatric knowledge into the Suriname circles.
It became apparent to during his twenty years in healthcare that there
was noticed hardly any differences between psychiatric deseases and Winti
phenomena. He noticed that those responsible for providing medical care
made many mistakes in their approach to medical problems. That is why he
decided to make information available about the background to the culture
of Suriname and other Caribbean areas so that a link could be forged
between different cultures. He did this by making use of television, workshops,
symposia, and publishing eight books, dealing with subjects as Winti and
psychiatry, the power of Voodoo-Winti, intergration of mourning, and the
medical herbs of Suriname. This knowledge was made available to anyone
who was interested. He was decorated by the Queen of The Netherlands for
his pionering work.
Henri Stephen counsels in his capacity as a confident many people throughout the country. He is asked for advice by hospitals, social institutions,courts and many other institutions engages in the field of education. He is a " bridgebuilder" between two cultures and between transcultural-psychiatry, spirituality on the one hand and the regular mental healthcare on the other hand. But Henri Stephen is above all a conservator of the, from one generation to the other, oral transmitted philosophical and religious wisdom of the Afro-Surinamese (South America) society.
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