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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The organisation and infrastructure of the African traditional healing system: reflections from a sub-district of South Africa
Author:Summerton, Joy VioletISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
health policy
health care
professional associations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020180601035708
Abstract:The lack of unity amongst African traditional health practitioners poses one of the gravest threats to the integration of this system of health care into national health systems. Efforts underway, such as legislation to regulate traditional healing systems in African countries, may be viewed as progressive. However, lack of knowledge of the content of legislation may in fact jeopardize the effectiveness of acts aimed at professionalizing and legitimizing traditional healing systems. Revelations from the study - carried out in Buffalo City, Eastern Cape Province - upon which this paper is based point towards a fragmented traditional healing system, marked by sustained segregation and deep-rooted divisions between traditional practitioners. Lack of unification hampers any attempt at collaboration. Various reasons are attributed to the non registration of traditional practitioners with the recently initiated Traditional Health Practitioners Association of South Africa. Traditional practitioners reported various factors that they perceive as prohibiting them from rendering health care of a satisfactory standard, including a lack of appropriate infrastructure; a lack of standardization of traditional healing practices; and a lack of information and training. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]