Traditional Doctors Can Help Fight AIDS in Africa: WHO
September 6, 2006
Traditional healers need to be recruited in Africa's HIV/AIDS fight in order to reach those with little access to health care or HIV/AIDS prevention services, Luis Gomes Sambo, the World Health Organization's regional director for Africa, said recently.
Studies in some countries show "improved health delivery" and "earlier referrals to biomedical facilities by traditional health practitioners," leading to more HIV/AIDS awareness, Sambo said. "Despite these positive aspects, in many countries, HIV/AIDS prevention efforts have been fragmented and made unfocused and redundant due to the failure of key stakeholders to work with each other."
If traditional doctors are enlisted, they can help "reach large numbers of people who otherwise would have very little access to HIV/AIDS prevention and services," Sambo said. "We need therefore to take steps to overcome these challenges if traditional medicine is to systematically contribute to the prevention of HIV/AIDS."
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.