MORE young people are now seeking the assistance of traditional healers and using traditional medicine (timbita) for treatment.
This was revealed by Traditional Healers Organisation (THO) Public Relations Officer Nokuthula Dlamini who was speaking during their commemoration of World AIDS Day on Friday in Siteki.
“Unlike in the past, more people are beginning to believe in us, seeking assistance when they are sick and we treat them,” she said, adding that it was unfortunate though that the ministry of health has still not recognised them fully.
Dlamini said although they have worked with health officials in some departments, it was not the case with some. She noted that doctors still did not recognise traditional healers for their work and added that this was making their work difficult.
The PRO noted that patients who cannot be treated by traditional healers were usually referred to government hospitals but decried the fact that this was not reciprocated. “When they fail to treat certain patients, they do not refer them to us,” she complained.
The traditional healers further complained that officials from the ministry also did not show up when invited to meetings and gatherings like the World AIDS Day commemoration. Meanwhile, Dlamini commended the National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA).
She said THO boasts of two traditional hospitals which the organisation was still trying to secure recognition for its doctors, known as TDr.
Also present during the event was the town’s Mayor Norman Sigwane. However, the organisation’s leader Nhlavana Maseko was not present on the day where a goat was slaughtered and burning of incense marking the end of the year for the organisation. Scores of traditional healers attended, some coming from as far as Mozambique. Each of them performed rituals and chants in deep voices as they communicated with their ancestors.
Mdabula Vilakati, who spoke on behalf of Maseko, commended NERCHA for helping the organisation throughout the year. He said even though traditional healers were unable to treat HIV they could treat the opportunistic infections.
By Joseph Zulu www.observer.org.sz