Traditional healers are a major health manpower resource for Africa and are often the only source of health services for large population groups throughout the continent. The study explores whether human rights law can provide the means of enhancing access to traditional healing practices and ensuring their development. In Malawi where approximately one-third of the population lacks access to essential medicines, the provision of safe and effective traditional medicine could become a critical tool in increasing the access to health care, particularly in light of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Traditional healing practices also represent a significant aspect of Malawi’s cultural tapestry and are deserving of additional protection as such. South Africa has regulated traditional healing practices through legislation and the author considers what, if any, lessons can be drawn from this approach to protecting a valuable health and cultural resource.