The aim of the study was to explore the traditional disease prevention practices performed during
infancy in a designated area in Tshwane District. In South Africa, the majority of African people
continue to perform traditional disease prevention practices in all stages of life; from pregnancy,
infancy, childhood to adulthood. These practices are performed despite the outlaw of African
Traditional Medicine by the Medical Association of South Africa in 1953 and unconstitutional
Witchcraft Suppression Act of 1957 as amended in 1970.
This study followed a qualitative research approach that used sensory ethnography as a design.
Sensory ethnography uses multisensory perceptions such as smell, touch, sight, taste and hearing
concurrently with interviews and other forms of data generation techniques to develop knowledge.
In this study, observations and documentation of artefacts and semi-structured interviews were
used to explore the traditional disease prevention practices that are performed during infancy. Data
were analysed using principles expounded by Roper and Shapiro (2000).The analytic processes
were aided by Atlas.ti 7 qualitative data management software.
The analysis of the data yielded six motifs as: types of artefacts worn as the traditional practices,
socio-cultural practices, type of healer performing the practices, period and duration for the
effectiveness of the practice and ethnicity. Each motif has sub-motifs.
African communities perform traditional practices for disease prevention and health promotion, no
matter where they are in the world. It is necessary for nurses, especially in primary health care
settings, to have knowledge of such practices as they are constantly in contact with patients or
clients throughout their careers.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2018.