Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Traditional Healers Trained in HIV Health Care
The fight against HIV/AIDS in Haiti is being strengthened by a collaboration between medical practitioners and traditional voodoo healers.
Recognising the important relationship between people living in rural Haiti and traditional healers, training in identifying symptoms and advising on treatment is now being provided to traditional healers.
Since most people would consult a traditional voodoo healers for advice, Promoteurs Objectif Zéro Sida (POZ) in Haiti have launched projects to bridge the cultural and technical divide between traditional medical knowledge and western medicine. POZ also provides referral cards to the 30 healers trained in treatment and prevention advice, who sent 360 patients to the conventional HIV testing centre and clinic. (At left: Aurore Julien Brazier, community nurse at POZ's main health clinic in Montrouis)
In recognition of its work, POZ was recently awarded the UNAIDS/UNDP Red Ribbon Award, which is being presented at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City this week.
POZ is also a partner of Alliance which works towards community action to fight AIDS in developing countries.