Original Research

Traditional health practitioners’ training needs on biomedical knowledge and skills in a South African township

Mabitja Moeta, Maurine R. Musie, Raikane J. Seretlo, Maikeleng Ledimo, Melitah M. Rasweswe, Eugene Makhavhu, Fhumulani M. Mulaudzi
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 15, No 1 | a3923 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v15i1.3923 | © 2023 Mabitja Moeta, Maurine R. Musie, Raikane J. Seretlo, Maikeleng Ledimo, Melitah M. Rasweswe, Eugene Makhavhu, Fhumulani M. Mulaudzi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 December 2022 | Published: 01 November 2023

About the author(s)

Mabitja Moeta, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Maurine R. Musie, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Raikane J. Seretlo, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Maikeleng Ledimo, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Melitah M. Rasweswe, Department of Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Healthcare Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa
Eugene Makhavhu, Department of Nursing Science, School of Healthcare Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Fhumulani M. Mulaudzi, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Traditional health practitioners (THPs) play an important role in communities by providing necessary health services for a variety of health problems. Possessing complementary biomedical knowledge and skills is vital in saving lives of patients. However, less is known about biomedical knowledge and skills among THPs.

Aim: This study aimed to explore and describe the training needs of THPs on biomedical knowledge and skills in urban townships in South Africa.

Setting: The study was conducted in a township in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality of Gauteng province, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative, explorative, descriptive design with 18 THPs was employed through snowballing sampling. Data were collected through a lekgotla group discussion and thematic content analysis undertaken.

Results: Themes that emanated include knowledge of the basic physiological functioning of the human body; biomedical knowledge and skills required for the assessment of patients; managing emergency health conditions and understanding diagnostic concepts used in traditional health practice versus biomedical systems.

Conclusion: Traditional health practitioners have demonstrated interest in being trained on certain skills used within the biomedical system to care for patients. Performing the necessary first-aid skills by THPs will assist patients in the communities while waiting for emergency services or referrals. Provision of training programmes for THPs on first aid interventions during emergencies is therefore recommended.

Contribution: The study revealed that capacitating THPs with biomedical knowledge and skills can improve their ability to promote healthy living and prevent health problems in communities where access to resources is limited.


Keywords

traditional health practitioner; biomedical health practitioners; training needs; biomedical system; knowledge and skills.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Metrics

Total abstract views: 937
Total article views: 724


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.