Society of African Journal Editors

African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

Perspectives of African women on hypertension and traditional healing modalities: Implications for social work practice

Authors: M.L. Shirindi

Journal: African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

The purpose of the study was to explore the perspectives of African women on the meaning of, and traditional healing modalities used to manage, hypertension. A qualitative exploratorydescriptive study was undertaken among African women between the ages of 37 to 88 years diagnosed with hypertension. Purposive sampling was utilised to select 67 African women, residing in selected rural areas of Limpopo Province, suffering from hypertension. Six focus group discussions (n=57) and semi-structured interviews (n=10) were conducted to collect data. Hypertension is commonly described as excessive blood ( madi a magolo ) and/or nosebleeds ( ngope ). Various traditional healing modalities were used by the participants such as bloodletting ( go lomega ), and purgation a by inhaling smoke from burned herbs or wooden sticks and snuff to relieve hypertension. The results in this paper will enable social workers to gain insight into the meaning African women attach to hypertension and concomitant healing modalities. This will afford social workers an opportunity to identify and reduce the risk factors caused by certain methods of traditional healing and subsequently develop appropriate and responsive intervention strategies. Keywords: hypertension, African women, traditional healing modalities, social work