AN ANALYSIS OF UTILIZATION OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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AN ANALYSIS OF UTILIZATION OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

Abstract:

Individuals all over the world continue to utilize traditional medical care, despite the increased availability of modern medicine. However, there is very little understanding of why this is so. In recent years, there has been a steady erosion of faith in the ability of modern medicine to provide for all of society‘s health care needs. According to World Health Organization (WHO), a vast majority of people in Africa have turned their attention to Traditional Medicine for their primary health care needs because of the challenges of modern health services. Many factors contribute to people‗s inclination to see a traditional healer rather than a modern medical professional ranging from wide aspects of socio-demographics variables. Documentation of Traditional Medicine (TM) utilization is insufficient and most studies conducted so far are limited and focused on comparing traditional healers and modern medical doctors. Whereas findings of studies on why this trend persists remain little understood, there is dearth of data from research on utilization of Traditional Medicine in Kaduna State. To enhance the understanding of utilization of Traditional Medicine in Kaduna State, the following objectives were examined: services provided by traditional medical practitioners (TMPs); type of diseases that TMPs treats, the socio-cultural and economic factors influencing utilization of Traditional Medicine; and the socio-demographic characteristics of those who patronize Traditional Medicine. A Marxist political economy perspective was used to explain the increasing patronage and utilization of traditional medicine in this work. To achieve the objectives of the research, a multi stage sampling method was applied such that both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were used. A total of 1,242 respondents were sampled for the survey, twelve FGDs were conducted, 93 clients of traditional healers, 57 traditional healers, 18 key informants, and seven modern health personnel were interviewed for this study. Findings indicate that income constraints are associated with patronage and utilization of traditional medicine. The users reported high levels of satisfaction that are attributable to procedural factors. Findings of the study suggest that traditional health practitioners are consulted for 29 different types of health issues by clients from diverse socio-demographic backgrounds in Kaduna State. The study reveals that 96 percent of respondents reported having ever utilized Traditional Medicine for a health issue. Malaria/Typhoid were the most (33.9%) sought treatment. The study revealed that bone stetting and mental healing were considered the most satisfactorily treated. This study established that home delivery services by traditional healers partly account for high patronage and utilization of Traditional Medicine. Specifically, the study found that Traditional Medicine promotes health care through its curative, preventive, promotional and rehabilitative services using various therapeutic herbs to improve the quality of people‘s health. Significantly the services of TMPS are filling the unmet gap left by modern health care in the state. It is recommended that traditional medicine should be incorporated into the Primary Health Care (PHC) system because of its efficacy and affordability. For this to be effective, government should establish modalities to control the activities of practitioners of Traditional Medicine. This can be achieved when government‗s health policies make provision for setting up of traditional medical board and educational institutions to train people in the field of traditional medicine. Moreover, if practitioners of traditional and modern medicine (MM) come together in small groups to share knowledge and expertise, they can do better in partnership

AN ANALYSIS OF UTILIZATION OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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