Manto defends traditional healers

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala- Msimang yesterday vowed to continue engaging traditional healers on health issues, saying they were important partners in the fight against HIV-Aids.

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala- Msimang yesterday vowed to continue engaging traditional healers on health issues, saying they were important partners in the fight against HIV-Aids.

"Some people might be resisting traditional healers but I believe we are on the right track," she said.

Speaking during a meeting in Cape Town between the Health Department and traditional leaders on initiations and circumcision, Tshabalala-Msimang said no amount of pressure would discourage her from engaging with traditional leaders on crucial issues such as HIV-Aids.

She said it was wrong for certain individuals and organisations to try and force people to turn their backs on their culture and traditions.

The minister said HIV-Aids could only be defeated if people worked together.

"The partnership against HIV-Aids is a multi-sectoral call to take action among all sectors of our society," she said.

Traditional Leaders of South Africa president Phathekile Holomisa praised Tshabalala-Msimang for "championing the indigenous ways" of dealing with problems. - Sapa

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