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Working with traditional healers to improve TB case finding in Mozambique hands to end TB in Mozambique

Working with traditional healers to improve TB case finding in Mozambique hands to end TB in Mozambique

More than 140 traditional healers have undergone training to help with TB case detection in Mozambique.

This is part of Stop TB Partnership’s TB Reach Wave 8 project implemented by Fundação Aurum, to engage private providers in the fight against TB.

Dr Savaiva Munguambe, Fundação Aurum Programme Manager said the training of traditional healers was to bridge the gap between traditional and western medicines and therefore get more people into care and treatment. Currently Maputo City has 3055 TB cases and Maputo Province stands at 3961 cases. The project aims to increase case detection as early as possible, and ensure timely and completed treatment while maintaining high TB cure rates. As the project also focuses on reaching people with limited or no access to TB services, working with traditional healers also expands the reach of healthcare.


Traditional healer Alzira José Munetwa said she joined the training as she believes that not all diseases can be treated traditionally. “It is quite progressive for traditional healers and doctors trained in western medicine to come together. It destigmatises traditional healing and we can now sit at the same table and get some recognition from government,” she said.

Munguambe added that targets for TB detection have been consistently low in Mozambique. As there is no official reporting system, some patients are lost to the private sector. “Through the creation of functional referral routes and a simple and effective reporting system for people with presumptive or confirmed TB identified by private sector providers, we hope to achieve our goal.” she said.


Healers were trained on TB literature, symptom screening and patient referral strategy to health facilities utilizing an app developed by Aurum. Traditional healer Verquilino Armando Moiane says he felt empowered to learn to identify the symptoms of TB and was especially excited to learn how to use the app to make hospital referrals. “This is lifesaving. I felt proud referring my first patient especially when the patient later reported that he was well attended at the hospital. I feel more useful to my community and practice my gift even more proudly knowing that I am part of a collaboration to end TB.” he said.

Traditional healers continue to care for their patients even after they have been referred to hospital. “While we train specifically on TB, we advise them to refer every patient that needs healthcare for other ailments to hospital. However, it is always emphasized that these patients are theirs to follow and ensure adherence. This seems to leave them at ease from the initial fear of losing patients to the formal health system. What has made this project a success is being open and receptive, at the end of the day we all want what is best for our patients” said Munguambe.

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