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A public health conflict : traditional medicinal practise and the bio-medical health norms and values at a time of HIV and AIDS in Swaziland

Includes abstract. / Includes bibliographical references (leaves 92-97). / Medical pluralism and the co-existence of a variety of different medical systems within a chosen context are common features in southern Africa as in the rest of the developing world. How do the different systems or practices interact? How does the dual systems of healing impact on the HIV and AIDS national mitigation programmes. The study assumes that the existence of different kinds of medical practices in the same community over a long period of time is an indication of the reality of medical pluralism in Swaziland. It questions its conflicting impact on the public health messages for managing the epidemic. The existence of different healers e.g. faith healers, medical doctors and traditional healers and herbalists is a significant aspect of health seeking behaviours among the larger population in Swaziland (only 22% of Swaziland is urbanized). The people‟s attitude towards and reception of the states public health policies and public health messages are heavily interpreted along and in view of the highly respected traditional medical health care systems. This phenomena also covers the people‟s spiritual and emotional health care systems and points of references and health seeking behaviours. The study also reflects upon the bias by a number of postcolonial writing towards traditional healing driven by colonialists‟ impressions and local rulers left in charge thereafter. The study also refers to the bias of a number of African leaders and governments who readily give support to bio-medical doctors and are not equally supportive to the structures that support traditional healing and yet a bigger size of the population is mostly reliant upon traditional medical care. In southern Africa self-medication is documented as an integral part of the health care system. This research project reflects extensively on the attitude of traditional and developing communities towards ARVs, ART and biomedical interventions at a time of HIV and AIDS in southern Africa. The study concludes that there are no cultural barriers for the traditional healers to collaborate with the bio-medicine practitioners; however there seems to be a lot of „public health‟ constraints for the medical doctor to working collaboratively with the traditional healer. Is this a one sided conflict, tension, bias?
Date January 2010
CreatorsDlamini, Gcinekile G
ContributorsHead, Judith
PublisherUniversity of Cape Town, Faculty of Humanities, Aids and Society Research Unit
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeMaster Thesis, Masters, MPhil

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