Traditional healers meet in Mahalapye, Mmegi/The Reporter


Date: January 1, 1970
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The story is about traditional doctors who met for a training workshop on how to care for patients living with HIV/AIDS.

This article may be used to:
1)  Prompt debate on the role of tradional medicines in HIV/AIDS.
2)  Prompt debate on media’s role and responibilitties when reporting on HIV and AIDS.
3)  Demonstrate the the need for investigative journalism with regards to complex issues, and how subtle messages can be conveyed through journalism.  
 
Trainer’s Notes: The article may lead to confusion concerning the role and usage of traditional medicines in treating people with HIV.  The information stating that there is medication available that can “reduce the strength of HIV” is problematic and is not supported by appropriate scientific and medical data. The article also ignores the gender dimensions, stating that the majority of participants were men, but not questioning why this is so and the implications of this for women who seek treatment from traditional healers.

Discussion Questions
1) What are the subtle messages of the article ? what could the reader come away thinking about traditional vs "modern" medicines.
2) What is the role of traditional medicine in responding to HIV and AIDS ?
3) What are the roles and responsibilities of journalists in covering medical responses to HIV and AIDS ?
 
Training Exercises:
1)  Trainees should examine the use of quasi scientific and medical data in this article and discuss the implications of including this kind of information. Trainees could be asked to write an opinion piece on the role of traditional medicine in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, which could examine the advantages and the conflicts between traditional and Western medicine. 
2) Make a list of sources and questions that coul provide balance to this article.
 
Links to Training Resources: Gender and HIV/AIDS: A Training Manual for Southern African Media and Communicators, Gender Links and the AIDS Law Project, Chapter 11, www.genderlinks.org.za/docs/training/hiv-training-manual/hiv-ch11.pdf 


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