9 October 2009

Zambia: THPAZ Condemns Sexual Cleansing

TRADITIONAL Healers Practinioners Association of Zambia (THPAZ) president Rodwell Vongo has condemned traditional healers who promote sexual cleansing and defilements as part of curing HIV/AIDS.

Dr Vongo said it was unfortunate that some traditional healers were encouraging their clients to engage in sexual cleansing and defilement as a way of curing HIV/AIDS.

He was speaking when he opened a workshop for traditional healers on basic facts of HIV, Anti-retroviral therapy treatment and adherence at Crystal Springs Hotel in Chipata yesterday.

He said in a speech read for him by his information and publicity secretary Simon Nyoni that sexual cleansing practised by the forefathers a long time ago should be discouraged at all costs.

"It is unfortunate that some traditional healers are still encouraging their clients to do sexual c leansing and defilements to young ones as part of curing the HIV/AIDS.

Sexual cleansing and defilement should not be condoned because the pandemic is real and needed to be discouraged because this trend was there sometime back," Dr Vongo said.

At the same meeting, Eastern Province Aids coordination advisor Emmanuel Chama told traditional healers to work hand in hand with health personnel in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Mr Chama said he was aware that because of the greediness of some traditional healers, many people had died because of not referring serious cases to hospitals.

"You should work hand in hand with health officials, what we do not want from you traditional doctors is to be greedy because many people are dying because of your greediness,"he said.

And organisers of the workshop Centre for Infectious Research Disease in Zambia (CIRDZ) community outreach coordinator for Western, Eastern and Southern provinces Judith Sakeyo said the essence of the meeting was to get updated information from the healers including sensitising them on the primary health care.

Ms Sakeyo said because of the key role healers played in the provision of health care, it was important that they were kept updated and abreast with developments in medicine particularly HIV/AIDS.

She said the workshop had attracted 34 traditional healers from across Eastern Province and said if the ramifications of the pandemic were to be mitigated, traditional healers must be regarded and treated as reliable partners in the provision of the health care in Zambia.

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