Exploring the nature of partnership between African traditional and conventional health care in eThekwini district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Ndzimande, Busisiwe Edith
Sibiya, Maureen Nokuthula
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The current alarming growth of diseases and complications, especially in Africa, makes the integration of traditional and conventional health practices a priority in medical training, research and planning, and the funding of health services. In KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a few clinics have initiated the process of partnership with the traditional health practitioners (THPs). However, the nature of this partnership is not clearly defined, hence the need for this study. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 80% of the population of African Member States use traditional medicine to meet their health care needs. Therefore it is a high priority that Traditional Health Care Practitioners (THPs) be integrated into conventional medicine, and considered the entry point to primary health care (PHC). This study aims to outline the potential consensus on how traditional and western health practitioners could work together to achieve a common goal without undermining each other. The objective of the study was to determine the possible relationship between western and traditional medicine. In order to understand the complexities of an intact culture of the entire group, a qualitative, multiple case study design was employed in this study as the researchers sought to explore a programme, an activity, a process, one or more individuals, groups, institutions and other social units. Results from the study indicate that partnership is far from being implemented by both parties. THPs should form part of health policy making, conventional medicine training and the District Health Information System.
Ndzimande, B.E., Sibiya, M.N. & N. Gqaleni, N. 2014. Exploring the nature of partnership between African traditional and conventional health care in eThekwini district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance, June (Supplement 1:2), 508-520.
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