The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5042.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - Board 10

Abstract #67026

Tanzanian traditional healers and caregivers: Care and counseling practices for HIV/AIDS

Stacy Ann Vogan, MPH, CHES, California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center, 1947 Center Street, Suite 201, Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-883-6646, and William Kayichile, CARE-Tanzania, P.O. Box 60, Missungwi, Mwanza, Tanzania.

Purpose: This formative assessment was conducted to determine how Traditional Healers are diagnosing HIV/AIDS and other STIs, and to understand perceptions on the causes of and means of prevention and care available. The assessment also aimed to determine what support is currently available at the community level and what else is needed to provide quality care and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Methods: Qualitative assessment methodologies were utilized (mapping, matrix, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews) to allow for a comprehensive understanding of the perceptions and practices of both Traditional Healers and Caregivers. Results: Most Traditional Healers are able to diagnose STIs/HIV/AIDS. Traditional Healers also have treatment regimens for STIs and provide some counseling services for both STIs and HIV. HIV testing is not perceived as a means of prevention or care given that there are currently no support systems in place or HIV treatment available in the communities. Recommendations: There is a need to address negative stigmas associated with AIDS, fears and realities of isolation and neglect for people living with AIDS. Building linkages between traditional healers and health facility staff will assist any HIV/AIDS prevention or care services by building upon indigenous resources already in place. An integral part of health care services, Traditional Healers can play an important role in developing interventions targeting health. Results of this study were used to make recommendations to Tanzanian Officials and International NGOs on the development of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services, specifically to assist in the development of counseling and testing services.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

International Health Posters V

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA