NWU academic talks about reinforcing indigenous healing in mainstream health science practice

Issued by
Johannesburg, May 30, 2017

Prof Abel Pienaar from the North-West University's (NWU's) campus in Mahikeng presented his inaugural lecture on Reinforcing indigenous communal healing as a sustainable health science and practice in Africa on 25 May 2017.

Prof Pienaar, who holds a PhD in health sciences, said that the purpose of his lecture was to demystify the so-called learned myths (that African indigenous knowledge is not a science), by revitalising the African science domain and reinforcing indigenous communal healing as a science in Africa.

During his lecture, Prof Pienaar emphasised that as health practitioners in Africa, "we need to fight for equity in health, because inequity will disenfranchise us further."

"In an equal system, those who have more, gain more and this will keep them ahead of others. Let us take hands, not to disregard the effectiveness of the western health care system, but to explore the benefits of the African indigenous health system which has sustained many generations," he added.

"Reinforcing indigenous communal health care supports the National Health Strategy of South Africa's (2014-2019) aim: to provide quality health care that is more accessible, equitable, efficient and sustainable," said Prof Pienaar. "Communal health care starts at family level, moves to the community and then to the health care providers. These stakeholders collectively work to facilitate healing. Making indigenous communal healing more visible is the best option to strengthen district health services," he concluded.