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Integrating traditional healers into a tuberculosis control programme in Hlabisa, South Africa

Author(s): Gumede, Lindiwe; Colvin, Mark; Wilkinson, David; Grimwade, Kate
[EVIPNet Repository ID: 48 ] Language(s): English
South Africa is experiencing explosive twin epidemics of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB). In order to cope with the increasing numbers of TB patients, a community-based DOTS programme (CB-DOTS) was established in Hlabisa in 1992. In this successful initiative patients may choose their treatment supervisor, who may be a lay person or community health worker, or may take place at a clinic. Overall, from 1992 to 1998 approximately 80% of patients completed treatment under direct observation, and the CB-DOTS programme was shown to be highly cost-effective. Since traditional healers are spread throughout rural areas and are widely consulted, we implemented a study to assess the acceptability and effectiveness of traditional healers as supervisors of TB treatment.