Indigenous Knowledge of Traditional Health Practitioners in the Management of Rigoni: A Grounded Theory Approach

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Steppies Richard Rikhotso, MCur, BCur (EDetADMN), RN
Prinshof campus, Department of Nursing, University of Pretoria, PRETORIA, South Africa

Infant mortality in developing countries is decreasing at a slow rate. World Health Organization and the United Nations are calling for reduction in infant mortality by two-thirds by 2015, (Millennium Development Goal 4), but infant mortality rate is still at 42% per 1000 birth from unknown causes. One of the unknown causes of infant mortality may be rigoni, a condition unknown in modern medicine, but managed through indigenous knowledge of traditional health practitioners (THPs). There are THPs specialists who deal with infant illnesses, especially rigoni.

The study is aimed at co-creation of a theory that explains the indigenous knowledge of THPs in the management of rigoni in Vhembe district, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The study will be guided by the main research questions and research objectives.

Grounded theory method will be used to explore and describe how rigoni is understood and managed through indigenous knowledge of THPs. The grounded theory method will be underpinned by indigeneity lens, embedded in Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Initial sampling will be done through Makhado Traditional Health Practitioners Association. Network and theoretical sampling methods will then be used to sample traditional health practitioners specialising in management of rigoni. Data will be collected through semi-structured, individual interviews. Observation and digital recording will also be used to capture data, as data collection and analysis will be done concurrently until theoretical saturation occurs. Data will be analysed through open coding, axial coding and selective coding. Codes and categories from the data will be constantly compared with relevant literature to assist in co-creation of a theory. At the end of the study a theory will be co-created that will explain and guide the indigenous knowledge of traditional health practitioners in the management of rigoni, that may assist to reduce infant mortality from some of the unknown causes in Vhembe district, Limpopo Province (South Africa).