The consultation was held to consider ways and means to expand the important role of traditional health practitioners, including traditional midwives, in the delivery of health services in African communities by involving them more actively in measures to prevent and control HIV infection and AIDS.
The specific objectives of the consultation were as follows:
1. To explore and identify the best ways to involve traditional health practitioners in the prevention and control of AIDS in Africa.
2. To draft guidelines on approaches that countries could use to secure the involvement and continued participation of traditional health practitioners.
3. To examine the need for, and to define, health services operational research in traditional medicine that is relevant for developing and implementing strategies for AIDS prevention and control and for solving other public health problems.
4. To formulate recommendations to WHO and to governments in the African Region on the appropriate steps to be taken in order to facilitate the involvement of traditional health practitioners in AIDS prevention and control.
5. To produce a report that can be used as a practical instrument for Member States who wish to strengthen AIDS prevention and control activities through the involvement of their traditional health practitioners in national AIDS programmes.