Traditional Aboriginal healers using bush medicine are hired to work alongside doctors and nurses in hospital for the first time
- An Adelaide hospital is introducing traditional medicine to assist healing
- Called Ngangki, the practice involves touch, breath and bush medicine
- A doctor at the hospital said it will encourage Aboriginals to seek treatment
- Comes from the central desert area of the APY Lands in South Australia
Aboriginal healers using traditional bush medicine have been hired to treat Indigenous patients in an Adelaide public hospital.
The traditional healers – known as Ngangkari – will work alongside doctors and nurses to provide a ‘complementary’ treatment, Lyell McEwin Hospital staff said.
Cancer survivor Rosyln Weetra, 70, said the initiative would help Aboriginal people.
Traditional healers – called Ngangkari – use a mix of breath, touch and bush medicine to heal (stock pic)
The Narungga Country woman was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2002 and sought traditional medical help from her brother in Port Augusta.
‘It gave me a strength that I didn’t know I had to fight the disease — the cancer — alongside the medical treatment,’ she said.
After rounds of chemotherapy Ms Weetra’s cancer returned and she was admitted an intensive care unit.
She again turned to a Ngangkari to improve her well being.
A Nurungga woman turned to traditional healers to improve her well being after chemotherapy (stock pic)
The traditional medical practice involves touch, breath and bush medicine to focus on healing a person’s spirit, ABC News reported.
Narungga man Latrell Branson, 22, also sought the help of traditional medicine after suffering from debilitating back pain and migraines as a teenager and is happy it is now being offered at the hospital.
The executive director of Aboriginal health at the hospital, Kurt Towers, said: ‘There’s been a real want and need from our clinicians in the hospital and the mental health centre to want to incorporate traditional beliefs and spiritual care to complement the mainstream medicine.’
Ngangkari hail from the central desert region of South Australia and work on healing the spirit (stock pic)
One of the hospital’s doctors said access to Ngangkari healing would encourage more Aboriginal people to seek medical treatment.
‘If you don’t address the spirit of the Aboriginal people in the healing process then they are far less likely to engage in the healthcare system,’ he said.
Ngangkari are mostly from the central desert areas of the APY Lands in South Australia.
The APY Lands comprises three traditional groups and has a population of roughly 2500.
A doctor at the hospital said access to Ngangkari will encourage Aboriginals to seek medical help (stock pic)