International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Full Length Research Paper

Understanding contributions of traditional healers to the prevention, care and support in the fight against HIV and AIDS Pandemic in Kariba, Zimbabwe

Alexio Mbereko
  • Alexio Mbereko
  • School of Built Environment Development Studies, Howard College, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban 4041.
  • Google Scholar
Precious Mahlatini
  • Precious Mahlatini
  • School of Built Environment Development Studies, Howard College, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban 4041.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 20 November 2013
  •  Accepted: 30 January 2014
  •  Published: 30 April 2014

Abstract

The role of traditional healers in HIV management in Zimbabwe remains undocumented; thus the paper investigated the role of traditional healers in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Random sampling was used to select 80 community members who were recruited as study participants. Eight interviews were conducted with traditional healers who were conveniently sampled. The study used quantitative and qualitative techniques to allow for triangulation of data. Eighty percent (80%) of the respondents knew about HIV and AIDS issues. Fifty-six (56%) of the respondents with various medical and spiritual problems had visited a traditional healer for help. Amongst those who sought help from traditional healers, 72% improved, 23% their condition did not change and 5% deteriorated. Traditional healer’s consultation charges range from US$2 to13 for treatment which was considered as being fair by health seekers. The maximum number of clients per week ranged from 3 to 50. Health seekers indicated a range of instruments used and skin-cutting gadgets were the most frequently used. In conclusion integrating TH into the formal health sector would offer an opportunity to benefit from their useful herbs and therapies, while offering the chance to dispel practices that might exacerbate the spread of HIV. 
 
Keywords: Traditional medicine, Zimbabwe, herbal therapy, HIV and AIDS.