Biomedical and traditional healing collaboration on HIV and AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

N. Gqaleni, T. Hlongwane, C. Khondo, M. Mbatha, S. Mhlongo, N. Ngcobo, V.T. Mkhize, N. Mtshali, R. Pakade, R.A. Street


Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) play a significant role in the South African health care system, in particular with the HIV and AIDS epidemic. However, despite the frequent contact between THPs and HIV-positive patients, education of THPs with regards to HIV and AIDS has been overlooked. In order to facilitate collaboration between THPs and public health care workers (HCWs), a district-level alliance was developed which focused on collaboration between provincial and local authority clinics and THPs. The project set out to maximize the innovative approach to HIV counseling in a manner that was both clinically effective and culturally respectful. Training and mentoring was provided to THPs with regards to record keeping, safety practices and HIV prevention messaging. This pioneering project involving THPs, HCWs and the University is the first and largest of its kind.


Traditional Health Practitioners; traditional medicine; public health care workers; health systems; HIV/AIDS; KwaZulu-Natal

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