According Thulani Msomi, president of the THP Business Council, says since the pandemic began government had sidelined them despite the role they play in communities.
It is estimated that 80% of South Africans consult traditional healers and there are more than 200 000 in the country. Most of them are based in rural areas. Many South Africans still use traditional medicine for their primary health-care needs.
Speaking at a webinar hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on Wednesday about the role of traditional health practitioners, Msomi said: “We feel that we are outside the system of government. We are not regarded as ’real’ health workers. We are not provided with PPEs, like other professionals in our sector, we did not receive any funds during the lockdowns like other businesses who were impacted by the pandemic.”
“We want to be involved in the production of these vaccines. We are not against vaccinations,” he added.
In September, a regional expert committee on traditional medicine was set up by the WHO, the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and the African Union Commission for Social Affairs, endorsed protocols for traditional medicine clinical trials.