An investigation into preventive and promotive health care in the practice of indigenous healers.
Makhathini, Mqansa Elliot.
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This study investigated the preventive and promotive health care in the practice of indigenous healers. It focussed on specific aspects of primary health care. The objectives of the study were to describe the current practice of indigenous healers with regard to preventive and promotive health care. The study also identified specific areas in which indigenous healers practices with regard to preventive and promotive health care can be enhanced. It also intended to describe the effect of a short training course for indigenous healers based on the assessment, with regard to their knowledge, beliefs and practice. The study was a qualitative multi-phased research project which ircluded three phases. The researcher's target population ccnsisted of indigenous healers in Region D of KwaZulu-Natal. The researcher targeted indigenous healers living at Vryheid District Under Hlahlindlela tribal Authority. Sisters at the clinics in Vryheid and Pietermaritzburg participated in the present study as well as western medical practitioners and nurses at Edendale hospital. Focus group discussions and individual interviews were conducted. A template method of data analysis was used. Results revealed that indigenous healers practices were claracterized by preventive and promotive health measures which were, to a greater extent African -culture related. Areas of concern where indigenous healers practices would be enhanced were intensified by the formal health care workers. A short training course was designed and implemented by the researcher. Evaluation of the training course revealed that it was to a greater extent effective.