Leader of the Traditional Healers Organisation (THO) Nhlavana Maseko says members of his organisation do not want to be integrated into the ministry of health.
He said traditional medicine existed long before western medication was introduced in the country. He revealed that since the 1970s he had been involved in extensive research and study and travelled to Europe where his medicine was proven authentic.
“We don’t want to be integrated into the ministry, instead we want to work in collaboration with it but independently,” said Maseko.
At St. Phillip’s traditional health practitioners have joined hands with Cabrini Ministries, which provides medical care to over 3 000 HIV patients. Traditional health practitioners in this area now refer their patients to this clinic when not responding to treatment. Information gathered, however, was that those traditional health practitioners known to be under THO were not part of the partnership.
Meanwhile, Maseko boasted that THO has six traditional hospitals countrywide and that they were equally effective. “We also treat HIV/AIDS symptoms,” he said, adding that most of their traditional medicine was tested in Germany, which has some of the world’s best pharmacies and laboratories.
“Why then don’t we want to recognise these in the country?” he asked.
He further boasted that local hospitals also referred their patients to traditional doctors, especially when they struggled to understand what was going on with the patient.
Maseko said not only do hospitals refer patients but even spiritual leaders refer their congregants to him if they did not get better after prayer. “Even well- known men of God now come to us,” he said.
Maseko further said under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol, traditional healers were recognised. He added that several foreign patients flocked into the country from as far as Nigeria yet locals did not want to recognise the traditional healers’ organisation.
Adding, Maseko said his doctors were trained to cure many illnesses including malaria and diarrhoea.
‘No light for traditional consultation rooms’
TRADITIONAL healer Nhlavana Maseko says their consultation rooms will not be lit up.
This follows a suggestion made by medical practitioners that consultation rooms used by traditional doctors should be cleaned and lit up.
Concerns were raised that this was important, especially for patients who were suffering from tuberculosis (TB) as they needed well ventilated and clean places for treatment to be effective.
Maseko said the first thing his doctors were taught was cleanliness.
“We have a module on cleanliness alone,” he said, adding however that they would never put up windows in the consultation rooms as this was against their principles.
“Have you ever seen any traditional healer’s consultation room with a window?” he asked rhetorically.
Maseko emphasised that there would not be any lighting in their consultation rooms despite concerns raised during a debate between medical practitioners from Cabrini Ministries and traditional health practitioners at St Phillip’s near Siphofaneni last week.
Healers soon to have ambulance
Maseko has hinted that traditional healers could soon have ambulances.
“Give us six months and just watch what happens,” said Maseko. He decried that currently, the ministry of health does not help them with ambulances even though this should be the case. Maseko said he also received emergency cases which need the services of an ambulance. He said the number of patients in traditional hospitals was increasing, adding that more people were deserting conventional hospitals.