All staff members who train or work closely with THPs should have respect for THPsas dedicated health professionals; be sensitive to the different beliefs that healers have about traditional medicine and healing; and have appropriate skills to teach the PHC knowledge and skills required in the programme. Another essential is that all staff be able to communicate in a manner that facilitates good collaboration between THPs and the health professionals in clinics and hospitals.
THP training projects usually require three types of staff: primary training staff, who teach the major part of the curriculum; professional health staff, who lead sessions according to their specialty area (i.e., nutrition, childbirth); and THPs, as assistant trainers.
Primary training staff design, implement and evaluate the training programme. They should have a complete understanding of the training content as well as being competent in the use of non-formal, participative, adult education methods. Trainers must also possess good communication skills and have sensitivity to traditional healer attitudes and beliefs.
Other professional health staff include doctors, nurses, health educators, nutritionists and sanitation workers. They should lead sessions according to their area of expertise and be oriented toward adult teaching methods and sensitivity to traditional beliefs.
THP trainees are a crucial element of the training process. More experienced THPs may already act as mentors to other healers and are already skilled at communicating indigenous concepts to their junior peers. Trainees who assist in the training programme can translate information into the local language and help to present concepts in a manner that is more easily understood by their peers.