Cape Town - A forum representing scores of sangomas and traditional healers will co-operate with the city’s health department on what is the best treatment for clients.
The Inyangi Forum’s launch in Khayelitsha on Thursday followed a year of talks with healers and sangomas across the city, said Lungiswa James, a mayoral committee member for health.
“It is important for the city to work with traditional healers as we understand that many people believe in them and go to them even before they go to a clinic or hospital,” James said.
She said health education was key in the co-operation with the forum.
“As an example, during diarrhoea season hygiene is important. Sometimes by the time people come to clinics they are sicker. We’ll ask them to first refer their patients to clinics. Afterwards they can go back to them. We said we want a working relationship. Their response was very good,” James said.
She said the city would offer them support to help enhance public health.
Forum secretary Thembeka Mantla said: “People come to us for help because there are sicknesses hospitals and clinics can’t fix.”
Mantla said most people who used sangomas and traditional healers lived in disadvantaged communities like Khayelitsha.
“Normally patients pay R50 to R150. It depends on the type of illness. We provide health products like herbs and most of ... our medicines come from the Eastern Cape and KZN,”she said.