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Curationis. 1996 Dec;19(4):31-4.

Indigenous healers in the North West Province: a survey of their clinical activities in health care in the rural areas.

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  • 1University of the North West Mmabatho, South Africa.


The purpose of this study was to explore the clinical conditions brought to indigenous healers by people in the rural areas in search of health care. The demographic variables and preventive, promotive, curative and follow-up activities of indigenous healers were investigated. Data were collected from a simple random sample of 35 indigenous healers. A questionnaire designed by Mogoba (1984) for investigation of training and functioning of traditional doctors in Southern Africa was modified and used to collect data. Findings showed that indigenous healers deal with the same health problems confronting formal health workers, especially in the paediatric field. Infertility, mental illness problems and sexually transmitted diseases ranked high in the adult conditions brought to the healers. There seem to be conditions that can be handled only by the indigenous healers due to their cultural nature. Findings also show that the services of indigenous healers are not confined to any specific group or social class within black population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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