South African traditional healers and herbalists are demanding to be involved in government’s efforts to find a cure for Covid-19.
They also want government support in the same manner that frontline health workers are being supported.
Following claims of the use of traditional products in China and Madagascar, local traditional healers are calling for trials on African Worm (Mlonyane), a herb they claim can treat, respiratory diseases and Covid-19.
Speaking from her surgery (indumba) Gogo Mmalai Janet Xaba Ndlamini, a traditional healer said: “We are health practitioners, we fall under the health department that is why l don’t understand why our government can’t give us a chance to help because we can”.
Her sentiments were triggered by a debate which erupted in April after Madagascar claimed that African Worm (umhlonyane) herbs can treat Covid-19.
According to Gogo Mmalai, there are herbs that can treat flue and can also treat Covid-19.
“Why can’t the government join hands with traditional healers to find common ground… They must look at our herbs and see how the herbs can assist.”
In response to the concerns, the Department of Health said: “There is need for government to conduct research on traditional medicine and its impact in… treating Covid-19”.
Another traditional healer, Gogo Mmule Mnisi said the government must engage traditional healers.
“l have patients who have used umhlonyane and they have been healed, they have good stories to tell, so why are we not recognised?
“We need to be included in the Covid-19 budget,” she said.