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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Faith healers could serve as HIV educators at the community level - African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines Vol.8 No.5

Today we are featuring the African Journal of Traditional vol.8 no.5. This issue includes "Trends and challenges of Traditional Medicine in Africa", an article by Abdullahi that details the changes in traditional medicine over the past few decades, as well as the new shift toward traditional medicine. 

This issue also includes "A Controlled Study of an HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Intervention with Faith Healers in Vhembe District, South Africa" by Mashamba et al. This article details a study conducted in Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The study entailed the HIV/AIDS training of 58 faith healers from the United African Apostolic Church in two municipalities of Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The training was done over a period of two days. A group of 45 faith healers was used as a control group. Both groups were evaluated after two months. The results indicated that faith healers who received training had a greater knowledge of HIV/AIDS and some knowledge of TB. However, the management practices of HIV/AIDS such as risk behaviour counselling, testing referrals and community education of HIV/AIDS among other things were not significantly improved. The study concluded that faith healers could be useful in HIV prevention programmes and could serve as educators at the community level.

This issue also includes articles on the interactions and use of herbs and drugs. The first article, "Patient Counseling about Herbal-Drug Interactions" by Hussain comments on the complicated relationship between herbal medicines and medications when being taken at the same time. The second article, "Evaluation of Herbs as Potential Drugs/Medicines" by Odhiambo et al. looks at how 34 different types of plants could be used to treat human ailments, and which parts of the plant were most commonly used. The results indicated that Asteraceae and Leguminosae were among the plants most commonly used. The results also indicated that leaves and roots were the most common parts of the plant used.

You can find these articles and other articles from this issue here.

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