Rural young men use muti to treat STIs

Rural young men use muti to treat STIsNorth West traditional healers demand protective wear:(File photo)

EASTERN CAPE – Most young men in Flagstaff at Ingquza Hill believe that traditional medicine as is the best treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

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Out of three infected men in the area, only one will choose to seek help at the local clinic while the other two prefer to go to traditional healers.

Favour Ndleko (46) of Dlibona location said traditional medicine cures “each and every sexual infection”.

“I prefer to go to a traditional healer than a clinic because in the clinic they only use pills which just reduces the infection. According to our belief, when a man goes to a clinic he is regarded as Umfazi,” Ndleko said.

A 23-year-old man agreed that he too preferred to use a traditional healer when he’s infected.

“Back then elders use traditional medicines and they were very strong. We follow the mentality of our grandparents who dismissed the idea of clinics,” Mzuvukile Diko said.

Opposite view

However, the third man – Lindelani Marhashule – said he held the opposite view. HE believed that clinics and hospitals offered the best treatment for any diseases.

He urged other men to consult medical doctors or a nurse when they are infected by a sexually transmitted disease in order to receive the best and safest medication.

Medical doctor Dr Abongile Mabhoza, based in Flagstaff, agreed with Marhashule saying while he’s not against traditional medicines, he suggested that people rather use clinics because traditional medicines have strong side effects.

“The best way is as soon as a person starts experiencing something in his private parts, he should go and consult a doctor before it’s too late, or the infection has spread. People should use both pills and traditional medicine at the same time,” Dr Mabhoza said.

A traditional healer and a member of Traditional healer Association at Ngquza, Gqogqoni Mncanywa said traditional medicines could clean and treat any sexual infection, but suggested that people first go to clinics in order to lower their infection.

An edited copy of this story was published by Health24.