n Mental Health Matters - The role of traditional healers in the provision of mental health care

Volume 2, Issue 3
  • ISSN :


Indigenous African patients still make use of traditional healers in addition to western methods of combating all kinds of ailments. Mental health problems are no exception. It's estimated that over 60 percent of African patients will, upon discharge from hospital, visit a traditional healer to put their illness to rest. In the less sophisticated person this is done openly and is often regarded as a norm. However, the more sophisticated members or the middle class of the black community will do this in a discreet fashion. Paradoxically these patients then become (inadvertently) advertisements for the traditional healer, who will 'throw names' of famous people he/she has dealt with. Sometimes a whole revelation of the problem emanates.

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