Traditional healers participate in tuberculosis control in The Gambia
Abstract:SETTING: Twenty-three Gambian villages.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of involving traditional healers in tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment in The Gambia.
DESIGN: Twenty-eight traditional healers were educated in the recognition of signs and symptoms of tuberculosis and indications for referral. They administered medications to confirmed cases, and were revisited after 1 year to assess knowledge retention.
RESULTS: Over 6 months, the traditional healers referred 66 suspects, from whom eight cases were diagnosed. All were successfully treated. Twenty-three of 24 traditional healers re-interviewed retained appropriate knowledge; 16 continued to refer suspects.
CONCLUSIONS: Traditional healers can play a positive role in tuberculosis control.
Document Type: Short Communication
Affiliations: 1: Department of Tuberculosis, Medical Research Council Laboratories, Banjul, Western Division, The Gambia 2: Department of Disease Control, Gambia Government, Banjul, Western Division, The Gambia 3: Department of Tuberculosis, Medical Research Council Laboratories, Banjul, Western Division, The Gambia; and Department of Tuberculosis, Institut de recherche pour le développement, Dakar, Senegal
Publication date: October 1, 2004
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