Traditional doctors and sangomas want to be vaccinated alongside frontline health workers.

Traditional doctors, herbalists and sangomas say they are health workers and are calling on the government to include them when the frontline health workers’ vaccinations start, says a report by News24. The report goes on to say that the call was made by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Traditional Health Practitioners Association, which has a membership of about 75 000 people.

The president of the SADC Traditional Health Practitioner Association, Professor Mbayimbayi Hlathi told News24 this week that he wrote a letter to the Health Minister Zweli Mkize appealing to him and the government to consider traditional health practitioners in the rollout. He says that his members did the same job as professional doctors and nurses, and he was surprised when it appeared that the government had excluded them from its plans.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa does recognise traditional practitioners in terms of the Traditional Practitioners Act, hence they belong to the department of health. Mbayimbayi went on to say that about 80% of the black community in South Africa first consult traditional healers before they go to hospitals or clinics therefore, they should be included.

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