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October 2022

S Afr Med J. 1979 Dec; 56(23): 1003-7.

A case for the traditional healer in South Africa.

Mankazana EM.

It is argued that the traditional form of health care delivered by the traditional healers meets some important community-felt needs which modern or Western medicine does not meet. An attempt is made to demonstrate that some shortcomings in the available health care delivery system may be amenable to the use of indigenous healers as health assistants. A plea is made to recognize the 'cultural communication gap' as one of the most important constraining factors in health care delivery, and one which indicates a need for research into the concept of disease and health in both the rural and urban sectors, as well as for epidemiological studies into the determinant factors of disease causation and distribution, with special emphasis on cultural and social factors.

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