Traditional Medicine

Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Health Services

This publication sets out to examine the major challenges for indigenous peoples to obtain adequate access to and utilization of quality health care services. It provides an important background to many of the health issues that indigenous peoples are currently facing. Improving indigenous peoples’ health remains a critical challenge for indigenous peoples, States and the United Nations. [from forward]

Primary Health Care Expectations and Reality in Bangladesh: A Sociological Analysis of the Selected Two Rural Areas

This research deals with the expectations and reality of primary health care in Bangladesh and focuses on different
Government and NGOs health care situation in rural areas. [from abstract]

Soothsaying as Health Seeking Behaviour: Implications for Medical Treatment of Diseases Perceived to be Supernatural

In spite of the advances in modern medical technologies in dealing with ill-health, a section of society continues to use divination in their search for therapy. Using a qualitative survey, this study sought to gain insight into reasons why this practice is pervasive. [from abstract]

Challenges Faced by Traditional Healers When Treating People Living with HIV and AIDS: The Case of Intsika Municipality, Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

The aim of the present study was to examine the procedures followed by traditional healers treating people living with HIV and AIDS in the Intsika Municipality and the challenges faced by them during this endeavour. [from abstract]

Interest In and Willingness to Use Complementary, Alternative and Traditional Medicine Among Academic and Administrative University Staff in Bloemfontein, South Africa

Healthcare systems worldwide are changing and the use of complementary, alternative and traditional medicine (CAM) form part of this transformation. South Africa has a large number of CAM practitioners, but they are not included in the official healthcare system. The aim of this study was to determine the perception and usage of CAM among the academic and administrative staff of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, South Africa. [from abstract]

Informal Rural Healthcare Providers in North and South India

Rural households in India rely extensively on informal biomedical providers, who lack valid medical qualifications. Their numbers far exceed those of formal providers. Our study reports on the education, knowledge, practices and relationships of informal providers (IPs) in two very different districts: Tehri Garhwal in Uttarakhand (north) and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh (south). [from abstract]

The Right to Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Health Care

This paper contributes to the development of the concept and practice of the right to health in all its forms, exploring the right to traditional, complementary, and alternative health (R2TCAH) across different contexts. [from abstract]

Fracture Treatment by Bonesetters in Central Ghana: Patients Explain Their Choices and Experiences

To understand factors influencing patients’ decisions to choose either fracture treatment by a bonesetter or in the hospital and to explore patients’ experiences with bonesetter treatment. [from abstract]

Discussing and Testing Efficacy: The Never-Ending Debate About ‘Traditional/Alternative’ and ‘Biomedicines’

The author tries to break the deadlock in this continuing debate about efficacy testing. He argues that the RCT can be applied to any kind of medical tradition, with the advantages and drawbacks of the tool being in fact similar for biomedicine and traditional/alternative medicine. [from abstract]

Involving Traditional Birth Attendants in Emergency Obstetric Care in Tanzania: Policy Implications of a Study of Their Knowledge and Practices in Kigoma Rural District

This paper reports about knowledge and practices of traditional birth attendants on emergency obstetric care in a rural district of Tanzania and discusses policy implications on involving traditional birth attendants in maternal health services. [adapted from abstract]

Evaluating Traditional Healers Knowledge and Practices Related to HIV Testing and Treatment in South Africa

In a context of inadequate human resources for health, this study investigated whether traditional healers have the knowledge and skill base which could be utilized to assist in the scaling up of HIV prevention and treatment services in South Africa. [from abstract]

Delivering at Home or in a Health Facility? Health Seeking Behaviour of Women and the Role of Traditional Birth Attendants in Tanzania

The objectives of this research were to describe women’s health-seeking behaviour and experiences regarding their use of antenatal and postnatal care; their rationale behind the choice of place and delivery; and to learn about the use of traditional practices and resources applied by traditional birth attendants and how they can be linked to the bio-medical health system. [from abstract]

Profiles and Outcome of Traditional Healing Practices for Severe Mental Illnesses in Two Districts of Eastern Uganda

Traditional healers shoulder a large burden of care of patients with mental health problems. The purpose of this study was to describe the profiles and outcome of traditional healing practices for severe mental illnesses in Jinja and Iganga districts in the Busoga region of Eastern Uganda. [adapted from author]

Traditional Healers for Mental Health Care in Africa

This article argues that the combination of the widespread use of traditional healers and the shortages of biomedical human resources highlights the need for innovative experiments in making traditional healers potential co-partners in mental health care.

Collaborating with Traditional Healers for HIV Prevention and Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: Suggestions for Programme Managers and Field Workers

The guidelines were conceived to help envision, plan, design, implement, evaluate and scale up initiatives that involve collaborating with traditional healers for HIV prevention and care in sub-Saharan Africa. The ultimate goal of this effort is to improve access to, and quality of, health services for the clients of both systems. [from author]

Role of Traditional Healers in Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care in Africa: Untapped Opportunities

This document discusses some of the strategies that have been successful in integrating African traditional medicine (TM) with biomedical medicine and points the way forward for establishing and expanding collaboration with African TM practitioners as part of a broader and more efficient approach to community-based HIV prevention and care. [from author]

Traditional Healers as Caregivers to HIV/AIDS Clients and Other Terminally Challenged Persons in Kanye Community Home-Based Care Programme (CHBC), Botswana

This article aims at evaluating the traditional healers’ contribution as providers of care to HIV/AIDS patients and other chronically ill persons. [from abstract]

Strengthening the Capacity of Traditional Health Practioners to Respond to HIV/AIDS and TB in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

This paper presents the experiences, impact and lessons of the innovative approach of working with traditional healers in HIV and TB prevention and control programmes, especially at the primary health care level. [from abstract]

Traditional Healers in Preventing HIV/AIDS: Roles and Scopes

This paper presents the roles of traditional healers in HIV/AIDS prevention and scopes for including them in the national AIDS prevention and control program.

Use of Traditional and Complementary Health Practices in Prenatal, Delivery and Postnatal Care in the Context of HIV Transmission from Mother to Child (PMTCT) in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

The aim of this study was to provide a baseline assessment in PMTCT in the traditional health sector to determine the views of women who have used the services of traditional practitioners before, during and/or after pregnancy; and to conduct formative research with traditional health practitioners (THPs), i.e. herbalists, diviners and traditional birth attendants on HIV, pregnancy care, delivery and infant care. [adapted from abstract]

Traditional Health Practitioners in South Africa

This article discusses the prevalence of traditional health practitioners and what South Africa has done to support the cadre, including formalized recognition and licensing through the South African Traditional Health Practitioners Act.

Traditional Healers and Pediatric Care

This article discusses the role of traditional healers in pediatric care in South Africa. [adapted from introduction]

Traditional Healer as Part of the Primary Health Care Team?

This article discusses the feasibility of including traditional healers in the primary health care team to achieve true co-operation between the modern and the traditional health care sector in South Africa. [adapted from introduction]

Patients Consulting Traditional Health Practitioners in the Context of HIV/AIDS in Urban Areas in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

This paper describes the results of a study to assess patients consulting full-time traditional health practitioners (THP) and the THPs' practices after they had been trained on HIV/Sexually Transmitted Infections prevention and care. [adapted from abstract]

Traditional Healers and Nurses: a Qualitative Study on Their Role on Sexually Transmitted Infections Including HIV and AIDS in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

This study investigated the role of traditional healers in sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS as well as a collaboration between the traditional and biomedical health care systems as seen by nurses and traditional healers. Qualitative analyses are presented on themes including attitude and respect; collaboration between traditional healers and nurses; control and regulation of traditional health practices; and the training needs of healers and nurses. [adapted from abstract]

Working with Traditional Providers in Improving Health Outcomes in India

This presentation addresses the role and impact of traditional health service providers in India and how they help fill the gaps in health worker coverage. [from author]

Myths, Masks and Stark Realities: Traditional African Healers, HIV/AIDS Narratives and Patterns of HIV/AIDS Avoidance

This paper presents field narratives selected as illustrations of mythologising and masking in popular responses to HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The stories appear in the context of traditional health practitioners and the testimony of the healers is used to demonstrate the ways in which they interpret these narratives, and seek to challenge them.2 The examination then re-assesses these accounts, and the healers’ responses to them, in relation to the antipathy that exists between western medicine and traditional healing in the context of HIV/AIDS. [introduction]

Involving Traditional Health Practitioners in HIV/AIDS Interventions: Lessons from the Western Cape Province

This paper documents the results of the second year of operation of the HOPE Cape Town (HIV Outreach Program and Education) Pilot Traditional Healer Project, an innovative HIV/AIDS collaboration between traditional health practitioners and western medicine in the Western Cape Province. The paper identifies the project’s achievements, and explores key problems in operation and management, including recommendations for the design and implementation of future initiatives. [from introduction]

Natural and Traditional Medicine in Cuba: Lessons For U.S. Medical Education

The Institute of Medicine’s Academy of Science has recommended that medical schools incorporate information on CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) into required medical school curricula so that graduates will be able to competently advise their patients in the use of CAM. The report states a need to study models of systems that integrate CAM and allopathic medicine. The authors present Cuba’s health care system as one such model and describe how CAM (or natural and traditional medicine) is integrated into all levels of clinical care and medical education in Cuba. The authors conclude that there is much to learn from the Cuban experience to inform U.S.

Medical Dialogue: How to Kick-Start a Joint AIDS Response by Health Workers and Traditional Healers

This publication provides information on the medical dialogue, a method formulated to address the recommendation for collaboration between biomedical practitioners and traditional healers and the integration of traditional medicine into public health care to respond to AIDS. [adapted from author]