Opinions of African caretakers of children at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital regarding the linking of traditional healers to western health settings

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Health care systems play an important role in maintaining good health in communities. In South Africa, Africans are continually faced with the dilemma of choosing western or traditional values. The literature has shown that African people use both western and traditional systems simultaneously. The South African government is also considering to include traditional healers in the national health policy .This study examines the opinions of African parents or caretakers of children at Red Cross War Memorial Children' s Hospital regarding their use of western and traditional health systems and their opinion regarding their linkage. The research method for this exploratory study was a focus group and structured interview. The results indicated that in the communities from which the respondents were drawn there are many Africans who consult traditional healers. The results further indicated that many Africans consult both western doctors and traditional healers for the same medical problem. The results also indicated that the respondents considered it necessary to link traditional healers to western health settings. Recommendations for future research are included.

Bibliography: leave 85-90.