GEORGE NEWS - With the initiation season around the corner, the George Initiation Forum (Gif) is worried that the ongoing wildfires in the Outeniqua mountain could have destroyed crucial plants used as traditional medicine in performing the sacred Xhosa initiation ritual.
Mzwandile Gincana, chairman of Gif, said plants like Helichrysum cymosum, Helichrysum pedunculatum and other secret plants which they traditionally harvest up in the mountain could have been destroyed by the fire.
"We are worried because these plants take about a year to grow.
"We might not have enough for the summer season. As many would know, we don't use Western medication when performing initiations. We depend on these indigenous plants," said Gingcana.
He said they will be in talks with the SANParks officials to see how much has survived the fires, if any, and how they can help to preserve these plants for future generations. The George Initiation Forum helps prevent botched circumcisions and locals from falling prey to bogus traditional surgeons and nurses.
The forum provides a regulatory framework to ensure the competence, safety, and quality of traditional health care services. The forum requires all local traditional surgeons, nurses and other role players to be registered with the forum and function under its jurisdiction. For any information about the forum or to find registered surgeons and nurses, contact Gincana on 078 903 7378.
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