21 Oct 2013

Pacific doctors ponder why traditional healing trumps modern medicine

4:32 pm on 21 October 2013

An American Samoan physician says Samoan residents are still seeking out traditional healers in the territory instead of medical treatment at the hospital.

Dr Annie Fuavai was attending the inaugural Medical Symposium in Pago Pago at the weekend.

Professor Ian Rouse, the dean of the college of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science at the Fiji National University, says one of the big issues across the Pacific is that people know they are not well, but don't look after themselves properly.

Dr Fuavai, who works in the Emergency Room of the LBJ hospital, says residents continue to seek out Samoan traditional healers.

"Amazingly with all the education that we have, all the programmes that we have, they still go back to traditional healers for comfort and for treatments so it something that we need to look at."

Dr Fuavai says she expects Fiji to have the same problem with the traditional healers.