To purge a plague

In the milieu of tackling the legacy of HIV-Aids, the role of traditional medicine and rites is still met with scepticism and prejudice.

In the milieu of tackling the legacy of HIV-Aids, the role of traditional medicine and rites is still met with scepticism and prejudice.

Totally unacknowledged is the role of traditional rites in dealing with the social ramifications of HIV-Aids - for instance, the thousands of children who have lost parents.

Apart from government intervention, many of the orphans have been left unexorcised of this bad omen. In the African belief system, death leaves a dark cloud over the bereaved family and it must be occasioned with cleansing to remove bad spirits.

In response to this need, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund has initiated a programme to heal and cleanse affected families.

This initiative ought to be hailed as a dignified response to the pandemic.

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