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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cross cultural dilemmas in the management of HIV/AIDS: the role of African traditional healers
Author:Mufamadi, JaneISNI
Periodical:Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (ISSN 1683-0296)
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:This article investigates the role that African traditional healers can play in the care and management of HIV/AIDS. Ten traditional healers from the Vhavenda community in South Africa were interviewed to understand their perceptions and approaches to the management of HIV/AIDS. To triangulate, ten Western-trained health care practitioners and eight HIV/AIDS patients were also interviewed to canvass their views on the role that traditional healers can play in the management of HIV/AIDS. The article finds that traditional healers provide a client-centred and personalized health care management that is culturally appropriate and tailored to meet the needs and expectations of their patients. Some of the patients report consulting traditional healers when presented with what they consider to be HIV/AIDS related symptoms. Western-trained health care providers report a willingness to collaborate with African traditional healers. However, the study also finds that most traditional healers do not understand HIV/AIDS as they seem to confuse this clinical condition with some sexually-transmitted diseases. The cultural proximity of traditional healers may facilitate communication about the disease and related social issues. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]