Erika Patho completed her studies in international relations and specialized in development policy. She has practical experience in development cooperation from the European Commission and through voluntary fieldwork with different NGOs in India and Nepal. Erika has been interested in the concepts of health and alternative healing since her young age. Her curiosity about different cultures was reinforced not only by her international studies, but also by her aim of discovering new interpretations and learning from other belief systems. Her study and engagement in development practice provided her with a new understanding of global issues and granted her the opportunity to devote herself to the region of South Asia. Following her fieldwork in Nepal, Erika is glad to be part of the MAHASSA programme, as it perfectly combines her long-term research objectives in health, medical systems and culture in the context of South Asia.