Western Cape MEC, traditional health practitioners discuss vaccine rollout strategy
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Cape Town – Traditional healers and practitioners met Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo yesterday to discuss ideas around a new vaccination rollout plan.
Mbombo engaged traditional healers, herbalists, surgeons and prophets from various townships, including Klipfontein, Mitchells Plain, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Philippi, Mandalay and Manenberg.
The meeting in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, started with the burning of impepho (incense) to welcome people.
Mbombo said the engagement was important for an inclusionary health process.
“This event is part of healthcare workers' education, they are part of phase 1 of the vaccine rollout, including traditional practitioners.
“We had to do this because the practitioners were not a part of being educated in terms of the vaccine rollout.
“In terms of the expiry of the AstraZeneca vaccine, it is not a big issue with regard to whether the programme will still be the same. The AstraZeneca (vaccine) had an impact to reduce the severity of the disease. However, it was not tested on the variant.
“The traditional leaders feel like they have been left out,” she said.
Western Cape Traditional Inyangi Forum chairperson Monwabisi Yamani said traditional practitioners wanted to be subsidised by the government.
“We thank the MEC for inviting us to this engagement because as traditional practitioners we have people who have other chronic diseases and with this vaccine coming through, they will be assisted.
“Again, we shouldn't treat people without personal protective equipment (PPE) and we have learnt a lot about the vaccine.
“If we work hand in glove with the Department of Health, we will then be able to transfer our patients to them, especially those we cannot diagnose.”
Yamani added: “The government should also provide us with PPE, we need facilities and we need to be subsidised by the government.
“The government only comes to us when they seriously need us but once things get back to normal they are nowhere to be found.”