We want to curb HIV: Traditional healers

MORE than 70 members of the International Traditional Healers’ Association (ITHA) and prophets gathered at Magwegwe High School in Bulawayo yesterday for a primary healthcare training workshop.

LINDA CHINOBVA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

ITHA brings together traditional and faith healers from different countries on the African continent.

The four-day workshop running under the theme “Let’s contribute to the livelihood of the nation” ends today.

According to ITHA president David Ngwenya, the workshop seeks to orient traditional and faith healers on health issues so that they could help contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“We want to help the nation curb HIV and Aids by 2015,” Ngwenya said.

Ngwenya said traditional and faith healers encountered various challenges in their quest to find a cure for HIV and Aids.

Chief among them is the stereotyping they suffer at the hands of people who believe they use demonic powers in their healing process.

“We are being accepted yet denied the platform to work. Many times people say we are mere demons, but what they do not understand is that we operate using amadlozi (the ancestors),” Ngwenya said.

The healers believe that there is no disease that is not curable, including cancer, claiming that they have cured a number of patients with that ailment.

They also claimed that they could restore the sight of a 10-year-old Mtshingwe Primary School pupil in Emakhandeni who reportedly went blind after allegedly seeing a “little man dressed in black” standing beside her in the classroom.

“This is an issue that we can resolve. What we need is for the victim and her parents to come and see us and we will together as ITHA assist them,” a traditional healer John Sibanda said.

Tabona Nkomazana, a prophet, said this was an issue of upset ancestors who needed to be appeased.

Nkomazana urged the family to take the issue seriously and seek help from the traditional and faith healers as the issue could further affect the child.

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