Traditional healers in Kimberley have welcomed with uneasiness the announcement that they will receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the cohort of frontline workers.

The healers say although they welcome the vaccine, they have some issues with government and the Department of Health that need to be ironed out before they can take the vaccine. 

They accuse the government of side-lining them when the virus hit South African shores and further maligning them when solutions were sought on how to treat symptoms of the virus. Now they are seeking answers. 

“I wouldn’t mind taking it, but would appreciate if they call us in and explain to us as health practitioners, also what does this vaccine entail? What is the makeup of this vaccine? So that when we also treat our patients, it shouldn’t be medication that would clash. It should complement each other, says one traditional healer. 

But not everyone is welcoming to the vaccine. 

“I’m not going to take it because it’s not fair. It means I will be betraying my ancestors because I tried to also consult to be a helping hand to the nation and I was not regarded or my idea was not taken into consideration. So, why should I now take a vaccine into consideration? says another traditional healer.:

Meanwhile, Northern Cape Provincial Health Department spokesperson, Lebogang Majaha, says consultations with traditional healers will be done during the coming days. 

“We have been in consultation with all our relevant stakeholders, especially, those in the health sector since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This coming week, we will once more meet all our  relevant stakeholders just to appraise them with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan within the next few days and weeks within our province.” 

Group of traditional healers claims to have found a herbal remedy to cure COVID-19: