Perspectives of black African residents of Meadowlands. Soweto regarding the use of traditional healing and Western medicine

In South Africa traditional healers play an important role as it is estimated that eight out of every ten Black South Africans rely on traditional medicine alone, or in combination with western medicine. The study examined the views of a group of Black South Africans from Meadowlands, Soweto regarding these two healthcare systems, their preferences and their experiences in this regard. The study adopted an interpretive research design located within a qualitative paradigm. A total of 15 participants were recruited using non-probability, purposive sampling. Interviews were employed as a method of obtaining data from participants and were guided by an interview schedule. Responses were analysed using thematic content analysis. The main finding that emerged from the study was that the participants felt that traditional healing was part of their personal identity and culture. Although they did not disregard the importance of western medicine which plays a vital role in their lives. Consequently, many of the participants utilized a combination of methods. Findings underscore the need for traditional healing to be included in the social work curriculum as a way of contributing to indigenization and decolonization of social work education and practice. Keywords: South Africa; traditional healing; western medicine; Africanization
The Department of Social Work School of Human and Community Development Faculty of Humanities University of the Witwatersrand In partial fulfilment of the requirements For the degree of Bachelor of Social Work