Sangomas are the practitioners of traditional African medicine in Southern Africa. Animal sacrifices, ancestors consultations, herbs, meditation, ritual songs and dance are key aspects of the traditional sangoma healing.
These traditional healers receive an extreme amount of respect, devotion and faith from a large amount of the South African population. Although there is a significant amount of fake healers or frauds, who for example say that they can cure HIV/Aids, cancer and perform illegal back street abortions, the South African health sector frequently collaborates with Sangomas to raise awareness for the importance of good health and frequently expresses the efficiency of herbal remedies.
Traditional healers are consulted first (or exclusively) by 60% of the South African population, especially in the townships and in the traditional rural areas. Estimates of the number of indigenous traditional healers in South Africa ranged up to 200,000 in 2012, compared to 25,000 academically-trained doctors.