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Role of traditional healers in preventing AIDS among indigenous populations in Bangladesh
S.M. Shariful Islam
are the preferred and most accessible health care providers in the developing
countries especially among the indigenous population in Bangladesh. With increasing threat of HIV epidemic and critical shortage of
human resources for health it is essential that traditional healers are
included in the HIV/AIDS prevention program. This paper presents the roles of
traditional healers in HIV/AIDS prevention and scopes for including them in the
national AIDS prevention and control program.
UNDP initiated community health program in Bangladesh studied the perception
and knowledge of traditional healers about STDs and HIV/AIDS prevention. The
results were considered while developing a three-day training program for the
traditional healers on STDs/AIDS prevention. Collaboration with government
departments, hospitals and NGOs supported the network of traditional healers.
The project initiated collaboration between traditional healers and medical
practitioners as a strategy for prevention of HIV/AIDS in the region. 82 traditional healers were provided with 14 days residential training on STI/HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment including counseling and referral.
Lessons learned: Training the traditional healers in HIV/AIDS prevention and STI
Treatment and counseling helped to reduce harmful practice and build
awareness for AIDS prevention in the society.
Next steps: Traditional healers needs to be mainstreamed into
the formal health systems, giving them some soft of recognition, training and
certification would help to reduce the harmful practice and involve them in
providing appropriate level of care to the people who needs it the most.
Abstract no. WEPE0381
” S.M. Shariful Islam Role of traditional healers in preventing AIDS among indigenous populations in Bangladesh. : : Abstract no. WEPE0381 “