Research already conducted in African countries indicates that the majority of patients still seek help from
the traditional indigenous health care systems. This is an indication that, to achieve the goals of Health
Care for All in the 21st century, there is a need to acknowledge the role played by indigenous health practitioners
as well as those practising complementary health care methods.
The aim of the theme “African renaissance” is to focus on the renewal of African roots, which in health care
is without doubt the indigenous health care methods. Although the government has already put in place
mechanisms to accommodate this field of health practice, some critics still feel that the methods for diagnosis,
treatment, medication as well as the training and certification are not scientific enough. It is therefore
eminent that sustainable health care development that can benefit all the people of this country should
harness a synergy between indigenous health care systems, scientific research and modern health care
This article attempts to address the historical evolution of health care methods in South Africa, its effect on
the community as well as challenges facing the health professions.