Keeping up the tradition

Published: Friday 15 October 2004

Two hundred thousand traditional medicine practitioners of South Africa will be officially recognised as health-care professionals. So says a new legislation passed on September 9. According to health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the Traditional Health Practitioners Bill received near unanimous backing in the South African parliament. Under the new law, a council will be created which will issue licenses to traditional healers, and only those who are registered will be allowed to practice. However, they will not be permitted to diagnose or treat terminal diseases such as AIDS or cancer. According to health ministry estimates, about 70 per cent of the population consults traditional healers.

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