Association warns traditional healers against false TB cure claims

Vimbuza Dancers and Healing Association president, Dr. Chisusu Mbale, has warned traditional healers against misleading the public on tuberculosis (TB) cure or else their licenses shall be revoked and banned from operating in the country.

Chisusu told journalists on a tour organised by National TB and Leprosy Program (NTLP) in Rumphi that traditional leaders and herbalists have, for a long time, misled the public that they have a cure for the disease.

“It is only the hospital that can diagnose suspects and treat TB cases, not us because we do not have a cure for this disease,” he said.

He said traditional healers must stop harbouring suspects of the disease at their places claiming they have herbs that cure the disease.

Vimbuza Dancers and Healing Association President, Dr Chisusu Mbale

If contacted by suspected patients refer them to the hospital other than keeping them in the houses, he said.

It was sad that most people go to the hospital while their conditions have worsened a situation which puts most patients in danger, he observed.

A TB survivor, Menard Mwayawala, from Mwahimba Village in Traditional Authority Kyungu in Karonga, said his relatives thought he was bewitched and took him to the traditional healer.

“I believed him and I was put on concoction. Weeks later, my condition was deteriorating, coughing, body pains and sweating were persistent,” he said.

He said his relatives later took him to Karonga District Hospital where they diagnosed him with TB and he was immediately put on treatment.

He said he is now in good health and able to work as a strong person.

TB Public Private Mix Team Leader Lucius Donsa

He added that the hospital took him as an ambassador for TB to advise others on the prevention and treatment of the disease.

TB Public Private Mix Team Leader, Lucius Donsa, said they are still engaging traditional healers and herbalists on tuberculosis prevention programs using different platforms.

“We are encouraging traditional healers to refer all patients with signs and symptoms to the nearest clinics,” said Donsa.

NTLP is also providing basic health education on TB prevention to traditional healers and herbalists, he said.

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