Traditional Healers Welcome City Intervention to Tackle TB

The traditional healers in Ekurhuleni have welcomed the City’s intervention to include them to the fight against tuberculosis (TB).

Traditional healers are key in the fight against TB because they are the first point of contact for most patients who prefer traditional healing when ill.

Patients who believe in traditional medicine sometimes associate their TB symptoms with something that needs traditional medical interventions and choose not to get screened for TB and remain undiagnosed or are diagnosed but do not take their TB treatment.

Gogo Elizabeth Bass, the chairperson of the Traditional Healers Practitioners Committee in the Southern Region of Ekurhuleni, spoke at the training the City held at Germiston Library Auditorium in partnership with Gauteng Department of Health for traditional healers. She welcomed the intervention and said the training equipped them with the knowledge they need to save lives.

At the training, facilitated by the Assistant Director Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation at the Gauteng Department of Health Tshifhiwa Tshifhango, the traditional healers learned of signs and symptoms to lookout for, and they were requested to encourage their patients to adhere to their TB medication and continue taking the treatment until their healthcare giver gives the green light to stop.

The signs and symptoms the traditional healers were educated about include:

  • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain, pain when breathing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite

The World Tuberculosis Day is observed each year on 24 March.