When people seek help from a doctor for mental health problems, they don’t anticipate being beaten on the head or tied up with a rope. Yet this is exactly what is happening in places like Kenya.
Witch doctors and traditional healers are shunned by the medical profession for their typically inhumane treatments. Now however, these healers are being recognised as an important resource in countries where hospitals and psychiatric help are scarce.
Daniel Gichohi is a trainer with Basic Needs, an international development charity with a focus on mental health issues, and has been working to bring the two opposing areas of medicine together.
Daniel has seen patients being chained up, whipped and beaten on the head in the name of exorcising demons and says it is common practice among traditional healers. More seriously, other procedures he knows of...