The role of traditional healers in oral health care in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

by Puranwasi, Randhir

Abstract (Summary)

A qualitative study was carried out to assess the role of traditional healers in oral health care in Kwa-Zulu Natal province, South Africa. The aim and objectives of the study were to assess the oral care knowledge and practices among traditional healers, to determine the extent to which traditional healers can diagnose oral conditions and how they could be used in the provision of primary health care and prevention of the spread of HIV infection. Another objective was to use the information collected to serve as a guide for collaborative oral disease prevention programme development.

Three categories of traditional healers were identified in the sample: Isangomas, Nyangas and Umthandezelis. The average age of the sample was 45 years and the majority was female. Most healers were in training for between eight months and ten years. All traditional healers reported seeing patients with oral diseases and 93% reported that they referred patients elsewhere for additional help. All healers treated their patients with natural remedies. Seventy three per cent of the sample reported that they treated patients with HIV/AIDS. Less than 30% of the sample knew that AIDS was caused by a virus and 47% reported being ‘

Bibliographical Information:


School:University of the Western Cape/Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:traditional healers oral health kwa zulu natal


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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