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Utilization of traditional healers in South Africa and costs to patients: findings from a national household survey

(2011) JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY. 32(suppl. 1). p.S124-S136
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Abstract
The use of traditional medicine is widespread in developing countries. We report on the utilization of traditional healers, using data obtained in a 2008 national survey of 4762 households in South Africa. Only 1.2 per cent of survey participants reported utilization of traditional healers. Respondents' reasons for visiting traditional healers included continuity of care and a belief in their effectiveness. Traditional healer utilization rates (0.02 visits per month) were considerably lower compared to utilization rates of public sector clinics (0.18 visits per month) or hospitals (0.09 visits per month). Almost three-quarters of the poorest quintile spent more than 10 per cent of their household expenditure in the previous month on traditional healers. Given the use of two parallel health-care systems, policy-makers should develop strategies to protect poor South Africans from out-of-pocket payments for health care. Simultaneous utilization of these systems evidently absorbs expenditure from low-income households significantly.
Keywords
South Africa, HEALTH-CARE, MEDICINE, health-care costs, traditional health practitioners, traditional healer, utilization, BEHAVIOR

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MLA
Nxumalo, Nonhlanhla, Olufunke Alaba, Bronwyn Harris, et al. “Utilization of Traditional Healers in South Africa and Costs to Patients: Findings from a National Household Survey.” JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY 32.suppl. 1 (2011): S124–S136. Print.
APA
Nxumalo, N., Alaba, O., Harris, B., Chersich, M., & Goudge, J. (2011). Utilization of traditional healers in South Africa and costs to patients: findings from a national household survey. JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY, 32(suppl. 1), S124–S136.
Chicago author-date
Nxumalo, Nonhlanhla, Olufunke Alaba, Bronwyn Harris, Matthew Chersich, and Jane Goudge. 2011. “Utilization of Traditional Healers in South Africa and Costs to Patients: Findings from a National Household Survey.” Journal of Public Health Policy 32 (suppl. 1): S124–S136.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Nxumalo, Nonhlanhla, Olufunke Alaba, Bronwyn Harris, Matthew Chersich, and Jane Goudge. 2011. “Utilization of Traditional Healers in South Africa and Costs to Patients: Findings from a National Household Survey.” Journal of Public Health Policy 32 (suppl. 1): S124–S136.
Vancouver
1.
Nxumalo N, Alaba O, Harris B, Chersich M, Goudge J. Utilization of traditional healers in South Africa and costs to patients: findings from a national household survey. JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY. 2011;32(suppl. 1):S124–S136.
IEEE
[1]
N. Nxumalo, O. Alaba, B. Harris, M. Chersich, and J. Goudge, “Utilization of traditional healers in South Africa and costs to patients: findings from a national household survey,” JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY, vol. 32, no. suppl. 1, pp. S124–S136, 2011.
@article{2054983,
  abstract     = {The use of traditional medicine is widespread in developing countries. We report on the utilization of traditional healers, using data obtained in a 2008 national survey of 4762 households in South Africa. Only 1.2 per cent of survey participants reported utilization of traditional healers. Respondents' reasons for visiting traditional healers included continuity of care and a belief in their effectiveness. Traditional healer utilization rates (0.02 visits per month) were considerably lower compared to utilization rates of public sector clinics (0.18 visits per month) or hospitals (0.09 visits per month). Almost three-quarters of the poorest quintile spent more than 10 per cent of their household expenditure in the previous month on traditional healers. Given the use of two parallel health-care systems, policy-makers should develop strategies to protect poor South Africans from out-of-pocket payments for health care. Simultaneous utilization of these systems evidently absorbs expenditure from low-income households significantly.},
  author       = {Nxumalo, Nonhlanhla and Alaba, Olufunke and Harris, Bronwyn and Chersich, Matthew and Goudge, Jane},
  issn         = {0197-5897},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY},
  keywords     = {South Africa,HEALTH-CARE,MEDICINE,health-care costs,traditional health practitioners,traditional healer,utilization,BEHAVIOR},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {suppl. 1},
  pages        = {S124--S136},
  title        = {Utilization of traditional healers in South Africa and costs to patients: findings from a national household survey},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/jphp.2011.26},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2011},
}

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