In certain parts of Africa, THMs still remain the most utilised form of healthcare because of their accessibility to the community .
Some physicians have reportedly recommended nonorthodox healing methods, such as traditional (herbal) healing to their patients, sometimes in cases where orthodox methods and treatment have not shown improvement [16, 17].
The South African healthcare system, already under considerable pressure because of the high prevalence of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, has to contend with the burden of NCDs .
This burden affects the individual’s quality of life and has resulted in increased healthcare expenses, not only financially, but also in terms of morbidity, at the individual and national levels [6, 10–12].
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A cross-sectional descriptive study designed to determine the prevalence of and reasons for THM use in the management of NCDs among South African adults was conducted in an urban, economically disadvantaged area of Cape Town, South Africa.
Langa, the oldest African township in Cape Town, has a high population of migrant black South Africans, who initially settled here because of lower living costs, proximity to the city, and available transport resources . Like many other townships in Cape Town, it is one of the poorest areas as determined from the City Development Index and Human Development Index values which are below the provincial average [29, 30].
In South Africa, the major NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and mental illness .Despite the wide use of THMs, there is limited data on the prevalence of using these for the treatment of NCDs among people living in different regions of South Africa.This is certainly of importance to all stakeholders—patients, physicians, and government—as there exists potential for prescription drug-traditional medicine interaction, which may be beneficial or detrimental to patients.In their study among Indians in Durban, South Africa, Singh et al. reported that herbal/natural medicines were the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) to manage NCDs such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and respiratory disorders, sometimes in conjunction with conventional medicines.