Zimbabwe’s sangomas (traditional healers’, claim to be entitled to medical aid remittances

Zimbabwe National Practitioners Association (ZINPA), an organisation which represents the interests of traditional healers, herbalists and faith healers, wants its patients to start using medical aid facilities when seeking their services.ZINPA said they will soon engage the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, over the matter.The association’s president, Friday Chisanyu, said traditional and faith healers were demanding the same recognition accorded to medical practitioners and other modern health care practitioners since they are constitutionally recognised too.

He argued that they were entitled to medical aid remittances just like general medical practitioners.

“The new constitution is very clear that it recognises traditional medicine and we’ve our clients who are coming to consult us with their various ailments but some of them have medical aid cover.

“We now want to meet the Minister of Health, Dr David Parirenyatwa so that our patients can be allowed to use medical aid.

“In these harsh economic times when people have no money it only makes sense that patients use their medical aid and we forward our claims to the respective organisations,” he said.

Chisanyu was speaking on the sidelines of World TB

Day commemorations held in Lower Gweru.

The government has in the past called traditional medical practitioners to come up with guidelines and instruments which will be used by medical insurance players.

Different consultation rates by traditional and faith healers has been cited as one of the reasons which made it difficult to regularise operations as their system was prone to abuse.
Chisanyu said, however, for traditional medical practitioners to be recognised, there is need to stop stigmatisation of people who consult them. He said most business executives dissuaded their employees from consulting such healers.

He said most traditional medicines were clandestinely finding their way into health facilities which was clear testimony that many believe in their practices but the stigmatisation caused people to desist coming out in the open over consulting traditional and faith healers.by Lovemore Zigara. Source: chronicle

photo- Dr David Parirenyatwa

Leave a Comment