BUSHENYI HERBALISTS CAUTIONED AGAINST FUELING SPREAD OF HIV/AIDS
By Chris Mugasha
Herbalists have been cautioned to stop practices which fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS scourge.
Nobert Kagwa the Coordinator for Bushenyi HIV/AIDS Forum said their (herbalists/traditional healers) practices especially the use of razor blade has tended to spread HIV/AIDS from one person to another.
“Some parents bring their children to you to administer herbs and you end up using one tool (razor blade) on all the family members hence spreading disease to entire family,” Kagwa said.
“It’s high time you abandon some of your traditional practices and instead encourage people who come to you to go to professional health workers, hospitals and health centres,” he warned.
He said it is unfortunate some traditional healers hold on onto patients and only refer them at the last minute.
Kagwa was last week speaking during a training workshop for herbalists and representatives of Village Health Teams (VHTs) at Rukararwe Partnership workshop for rural development in Nyakabirizi Division in Bushenyi district.
The 200 herbalists under their association Bushenyi Traditional Healers Association (BUMETHA) were representatives from the districts of Greater Bushenyi region, (Bushenyi, Sheema, Buhweju, Mitooma and Rubirizi.)
The meeting aimed at equipping them with knowledge on HIV/AIDS, counseling, domestic violence, Food and Nutrition.
Florence Muhwezi a member of Rukararwe said, “Because of COVID-19 pandemic, HIV/AIDS and other diseases have gone silent yet they are still claiming lives.”
Nancy Nyamweya the Bushenyi district Food and Nutrition focal person called upon the herbalists to always refer patients to health units.
“We know that many patients begin with you in villages and so we need to increase on our collaboration. Don’t insist on remaining with a patient even when you do not see any progress/recovery,” Nyamweya noted .
The Bushenyi/Ishaka Municipality deputy town clerk Didas Muhanguzi advised the herbalists to form stronger associations which will enable them to benefit from government programs like Emyooga funds among others.
Muhanguzi further advised them to document their different herbs and what they cure for the future generation to benefit.
“Don’t die with such rich knowledge instead pass it on to your children,” he appealed.
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