Retention and effectiveness of HIV/AIDS training of traditional healers in far western Nepal


Masamine Jimba (corresponding author), Krishna C. Poudel, Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar and Susumu Wakai, Department of International Community Health, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 Japan. Tel.: +81 3 5841 3697; Fax: +81 3 5841 3422; E-mail:;;;
Anand B. Joshi, Department of Community Medicine & Family Health, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. E-mail:
Mahesh Sharma, Resource Centre for Primary Health Care, Kathmandu, Nepal. E-mail:


Objective  To evaluate HIV/AIDS training for traditional healers (THs) in far western Nepal.

Methods  We collected data using a structured questionnaire and assessed THs’ knowledge of HIV transmission, misconceptions and preventive measures immediately prior to the initial training conducted from June to December 1999, and then 9–12 months after the training in 2000. We also conducted six focus group discussions (FGD) and assessed THs’ performances after the training. We interviewed 12 key informants about their perceptions towards the trained THs.

Results  THs significantly improved their knowledge of HIV transmission, misconceptions and preventive measures after the training. The FGD and key informant interview results showed that the trained THs provided culturally acceptable HIV/AIDS education to the local people, distributed condoms and played a role in reducing the HIV/AIDS-related stigma.

Conclusions  THs have a potential to work as key players in HIV/AIDS programmes in Nepal.