New York Times Series Examines Traditional Healers Who Are ‘Stumped’ by AIDS
Traditional healers are a "crucial" part of the health care system in South Africa, as polls say that 60% of the country's citizens have visited a healer, or sangoma, for medical advice. However, Mama Mtshali, a sangoma in Hlabisa, South Africa, profiled today in the New York Times' third article in its "Death and Denial" series, admits she is "stumped" by AIDS. Claiming that she can cure ailments such as tuberculosis or appetite loss, Mtshali said, "AIDS is too difficult to see. ... And by the time we can see it's AIDS, it's too late." Mtshali, as well as other sangomas, "say they are not hostile to Western medicine," and some even work with Western-style physicians to treat AIDS patients. The complete article is available online at the Times Web site.This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.