During 2020, communities all over the world suffered from infections and disruptions because
of the Covid-19 pandemic. Health assistance in different forms was provided to assist patients.
In addition, the South African Department of Health employed several measures to curb the
spread of the virus. The traditional healers acting as basic health providers objected to not
being asked to participate in government activities dealing with the virus. Data acquired
through a qualitative approach provided insight into the pleas of traditional healers to support
in the fight against Covid-19. Traditional healers were not consulted by the Department of
Health, although the traditional healers are officially considered as part of the government
system to provide healthcare. The Traditional Health Practitioners Act, no. 22 of 2007, provided
legal recognition to traditional healers. There has been extensive written work dealing with the
role of Traditional Healers in the South African healthcare system. This article investigated,
through a consideration of the available literature, the differences between the Healing and
Biomedical paradigms as two separate ways of presenting healthcare during the Covid-19
pandemic. Through a comparative study of the two approaches as represented by the
paradigms, the reasons for not consulting and allowing traditional healers to participate in the
fight against Covid-19 were investigated. Some of the reasons include the bias of science versus
indigenous knowledge, as a basis for knowledge on health matters. The study recommended
that traditional healers have a role to play and a contribution to make to the South African
healthcare system and should be allowed to perform their activities.
CONTRIBUTION: The article contributes to the understanding of how different worldviews
influence the application of medical services with a particular focus on treatment provided
during the Covid-19 pandemic. The contribution to treatment by traditional healers is
investigated. The relation between biomedical and traditional healing is highlighted with
suggestions as to future collaboration.