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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditional healers' views on fertility
Author:Mashamba, TshilidziISNI
Periodical:Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (ISSN 1683-0296)
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:Infertility is one of the major problems facing families, both in the public and private health sectors. This article reports on findings of a study on the traditional perspectives regarding infertility. The study was based on semi-structured interviews with five traditional healers from the Vembe District (Limpopo Province, South Africa) and content analysis. Participants indicate that patients have different reasons for wanting to procreate, and when conception does not take place, often women are blamed. There are also perceived consequences of being childless. They fall under different categories, such as social, economic and health-related. The findings of the study reveal that the etiology of infertility is attributed to three major factors, viz. biomedical, traditional and supernatural. When patients consult traditional healers for treatment, diagnostic strategies are employed and the necessary treatment is prescribed. Where such healers realize that the patient's condition is complex and beyond their assistance, they refer the patient to other traditional healers, faith healers or Western-trained health practitioners. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]