Six doctors specialised in HIV/AIDS care are leading a five-day seminar in the Central African Republic (CAR) this week to train 50 traditional healers in combating opportunistic diseases which attack infected people.
"We received six million CFA francs (US $9,230) from the UN Development Programme that will allow us to organise similar seminars throughout the country," Guy Fidele Damango, secretary general of the Association des Tradi-praticiens de Centrafrique (ANTCA), told IRIN.
ANTCA has more than 5,000 members throughout the country, and includes both male and female healers. "Traditional healers have a very important role to play in combating opportunistic diseases, such as haemorrhoids," said Damango, who noted that traditional therapy is being encouraged in CAR by scientific institutions and the health ministry.
"We collaborate closely with medical doctors and the researchers of the University of Bangui," he said.
CAR is the most severely HIV/AIDS-affected nation in the central African subregion and the 10th most affected in the world, with 12 percent of its population HIV-positive.
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