Herbal Medicine & Healing Traditions
HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 20 million Africans have now died, and 12 million have been orphaned by AIDS. Those living with the virus number 29.4 million, the vast majority in the prime of their lives. Traditional medicine has played a vital role in caring for and treating those infected by HIV/AIDS, but this role has yet toe get the attention it deserves.
During the course of the Brackenhurst Workshop discussions recognized that several countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America rely on traditional medicine to help meet primary health care needs. In Africa, up to 80% of the population uses traditional medicine for primary health care ñ because it is accessible, affordable, and firmly embedded within wider belief systems. In many parts of Africa, traditional medicine is the only affordable and accessible system of health care available to people. Despite its widespread use, traditional medicine has been stigmatized as primitive and unscientific.
It was in this context that workshop participants wrote the Traditional Healers' Declaration to present to the ICASA Secretariat, in which they called for recognition of the importance of their role as HIV care providers and made recommendations on how to strengthen and legitimize the role of traditional medicine in providing care for HIV affected communities.
Traditional Healers Declaration