‘Doctors’ without papers?


As a journalist, newspaper advertisements are not on the list of my regular news hunting ground and yet I discovered something rather hilarious. I have on many occasions come across a chain of “doctors” advertisements, offering their expertise in all sorts of things. In one advert, a traditional “doctor” states how he can “destroy all your problems” and another, how he can enlarge private parts and give “lucky charms to win gambling”. Surely, if I were one of them, I would enrich myself with all this traditional “doctor’s” luck at my disposal. All the lucky charms, I would take to all the local casinos in Namibia and get rich. This again makes me wonder, why do these “doctors” settle for a small consultation fee whereas they can enrich themselves? Where I come from (Zimbabwe), becoming a traditional “doctor” is apparently inherent, unlike in the medical field. If your parents are medical doctors, it is no automatic calculation that you will become a medical doctor, as this requires an in-depth study of the human anatomy. Institutions of study for our African “doctors”, I have not seen or heard of. I have not heard of any traditional “doctors” being registered or licensed to practice in Namibia. So, where then are all these advertisements coming from? The institutions must therefore be the laggards in communication technology and are slowly making their way to license and register their “doctors”. The reason why I use quotation marks every time I refer to these “doctors” is that I am yet to see any one of our African traditional “doctors” with conclusive certification that would make them worthy of the title. Definitions from one dictionary I have checked refer to a doctor as, “somebody qualified and licensed to give people medical treatment; a title used before the names of health professionals such as dentists, veterinarians, and osteopaths; a title given to somebody who has been awarded a doctorate, the highest level of degree awarded by a university.” None of the above definitions seems to fit my African traditional “doctor”. I thought the title comes with papers from institutions of higher learning to support it. If this is the case then there must be some traditional “doctors” who have titles like “Professor”, for those who may have furthered their studies to PhD level. My perception of a traditional doctor is that of an individual trying to make a “decent” salary (since you do not consult them for free) but not just like the average citizen who wakes up every morning of every weekday to make ends meet. From what I know, if you have a headache, you take some painkillers. If pills do not work, consult a medical doctor whose credentials you usually see on his/her office walls, framed and sometimes nicely decorated. Some people might already be sceptical about this opinion piece. Yes, I have heard about these traditional “doctors” having herbs that after further tests have been proven to be ingredients in some of the medication used in modern-day hospitals. The only problem I have is this, their practices are not of common knowledge, why? At the end of the day, it is my opinion against yours and thousands others. Until next time. Eewa!