Traditional healing among the Nguni people.
This study sought to ascertain the role that is played by traditional healers in healthcare delivery among the Nguni people of South Africa. Its objective is to ascertain who the traditional healers are, how they are trained for the profession, how they practice their profession including how people consult with them, how they gather information relevant to identify the problems of their clients, what interventions are put in place once health problems have are identified and generally the role traditional healers play in the wellbeing and upliftment of living conditions of their communities. Three traditional healers were interviewed and observed, generating important information for the study. The study found out that traditional healers are respected traditional or community leaders whose main contribution to the community is practicing healthcare delivery by which they bring well-being to the generality of the people. Traditional healers are called to their profession by their ancestors. The training of traditional healers is by apprenticeship with experienced renowned traditional healers and the training takes place between two and six years. Training takes place in the skills of diagnosis or the gathering of information, through observation, interviews, divination and the interpretation of dreams to arrive at a decision as to the probable healthcare needs or health problems of patients. Traditional healers are generally trained to be capable of identifying different kinds of problems affecting people, whether these be physical, mental or interpersonal relationship problems. Training in skills to intervene in health matters are provided including herbal medication, interpersonal interactions and as in group healing or ritual ceremonies as well as training in the skills of prevention of ill-health and promotion of health. Other skills in which traditional healers are trained include those of advocacy, mobilization and being custodians of the people's traditional culture. Traditional healers are generally trusted for their competency and the efficacy of their intervention strategies and this explains the reason for the people's generally positive behaviour tendency towards the utilization of traditional healer's services. Traditional healers generally bring about well- being to the people in their communities.