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'Sincedisa – We Can Help!' A Literature Review of Current Practice Involving Traditional African Healers in Biomedical HIV/AIDS Interventions in South Africa

Year: 2005
Author: Wreford, Joanne
Unit: ASRU
Journal: Social Dynamics
Volume: 31
Issue: 2
Pages: 90-117
Abstract:

This review describes research literature involved with efforts at collaboration between traditional African healers (TAHs) and biomedical practitioners in HIV/AIDS interventions in Southern Africa. The paper draws on academic texts including published and unpublished research papers, books and reports, and press comments on the subject. The focus is on Southern African literature, but selected texts from elsewhere on the continent are also included. Rather than simply reviewing selected interventions, this paper interrogates the roles assigned to traditional healers, emphasising in particular diviner-practitioners such as izangoma (sing. isangoma: Zulu; igqirha, amagqirha: Xhosa) in these interventions. The paper investigates the experience of traditional healers of these interventions, and the responses of biomedical professionals, and explores some obstacles which may hinder future collaborations. The paper concludes with some recommendations and proposals for future schemes and related research.


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