Intended for healthcare professionals


Traditional healers may cause dangerous delays

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 07 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:948
  1. Alan Smyth,
  2. Michael Martin,
  3. James Cairns
  1. Paediatrician Physician Medical superintendent St Francis Hospital Private Bag 11, Katete, Zambia

    EDITOR,--Rajendra Kale's article on traditional healers in South Africa commends traditional medicine for its holistic approach but acknowledges that “unfortunately there have been no studies of the efficacy of traditional remedies.”1 Some traditional remedies used in Africa are effective—for instance, simple purgatives in constipation. Others use the placebo effect and are used in illnesses recognised by traditional healers as self limiting or due to anxiety states. …

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