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Traditional healers on board Print E-mail
25 November 2010

The City has teamed up with traditional healers and together they have established a forum to share knowledge. The aim is to keep people healthy.

FOR many years, traditional healing has been mired in controversy; however, this is slowly changing as people begin to realise the value of traditional medicine.

 

Kabelo Motshabi
Health department's strategic adviser, Kabelo Motshabi

 

A big step forwards was taken when traditional healers from all corners of the city converged on the Metro Centre in Braamfontein to witness the launch of the Traditional Healers Forum on Wednesday, 24 November.

Through the forum, the healers will be able to work together with the City’s health department.

The department’s strategic adviser, Kabelo Motshabi, said the purpose of the forum was to create a working relationship and share information with traditional healers. “The establishment of such a forum will make it easier for the public to have access to information on traditional healers.”

Traditional healers would also be able to learn about and understand health policies and programmes from the City’s health department, said Kabelo.

The member of the mayoral committee for health, Bengeza Mthombeni, said the government recognised the critical role played by traditional healers. “The government is sympathetic and has created an enabling environment for traditional healers to demonstrate their talent.”

He also encouraged them to help the health department implement programmes. “You possess knowledge that western medicine does not have; if we work together we can defeat diseases.”

Mthombeni emphasised that collaboration between stakeholders and traditional healers would help the government achieve its goals.

It was also moment of joy when five healers were named to manage the forum. They are Clifford Malukane, Sidwell Kgori, Themba Thwala , Martha Mangoga and Joel Chauke. Their appointment was followed by singing and dancing in celebration.

Chauke, the chairperson, pointed out that 80 percent of the population sought health advice and treatment from traditional healers before visiting a western doctor. “Traditional healers are not just a group of midnight drum beaters or bone throwers; they are people who provide medicine and leadership in societies.”

In sub-Saharan Africa at least 80 percent of people rely on traditional healers, who are popular because they are accessible, affordable and culturally familiar.

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