n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Traditional healers' views on fertility : indigenous African healing practices

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



Infertility is one of the major problems facing families, both in the public and private health sectors. This article reports on findings of a study that investigated the traditional perspectives regarding infertility. The study was conducted using qualitative research methods with five traditional healers who were selected through purposive sampling. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and content analysis was used. Participants indicated that patients had different reasons for wanting to procreate, and when conception does not take place, often women are the ones to blame. There are also perceived consequences of being childless. They fall under different categories, such as, social, economic and health. The findings of the study revealed that the etiology of infertility was attributed to three major factors, these are, biomedical, traditional and supernatural. When patients consult traditional healers for treatment, diagnostic strategies are employed and the necessary treatment is prescribed. Where such healers realize that the patient's condition is complex and beyond their assistance they refer the patient to other traditional healers, faith healers or western-trained health practitioners.

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