Utilization of Alternative Medical Services In An Urban Centre Of North Central Nigeria
Keywords:Alternative therapy, Utilization, Medical services, Nigeria
Background: The use of alternative therapy is becoming more popular in the recent times especially due to the increasing cost, distrust and limitations of modern western medical care. There is a universal trend toward naturalness and herbal medicine is now being modernized and being accepted by people who would not have used them. This community based study seeks to assess the prevalence, pattern, behaviour and determinants of Alternative Therapy (AT) use.
Methods: It was a cross-sectional descriptive survey among adults in the Ilorin city of Nigeria. Participants were selected by multistage sampling and information obtained by the use of semi-structured questionnaire.
Results: Total prevalence of AT use was 67.7% while the prevalence of the use of both indigenous and foreign AT use was 44.8% and 30.4% respectively. Among indigenous AT users, 87.5% will use both conventional and modernized type, while 12.5% will use only the modernized type. More than 10% were new users of AT. Respondents use AT for promotive, preventive and curative purposes. Only 3.5% were considered as safe users according to 12-point items. The male respondents and the never married ones practice a safer use of alternative therapy (p<0.05). Similarly, the respondents with higher educational status also have a safer practice of AT use (p<0.05).
Conclusion: There is high prevalence of unsafe AT use in Ilorin. The regulation of advertisement and sales of harmful herbal medicines should be intensified by NAFDAC and other related agencies. Further research into the safe and effective integration of AT into modern healthcare practice in Nigeria is also recommended.
WHO. Traditional Medicine. Fact Sheet 2003; No 134
Malik IA, Kahn NA, Kahn W. Use of unconventional methods of therapy by cancer patients in Pakistan. Eur J Epidemiol 2000; 16: 155-160
Adisa R, Fakeye T. Assessmemt of the knowledge ofcommunity pharmacists regarding common phytopharmaceuticals sold in southwestern Nigeria. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 2006; 5(2): 619-625
Rômulo RNA, Ierecê MLR. Biodiversity, traditional medicine and public health: where do they meet? Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2007, 3:14
WHO. WHO guidelines on safety monitoring of herbal medicines in pharmacovigilance systems. WHO Geneva 2004.
Carmen-Kasparek M. The state of herbal medicine in Canada. Drug information Journal 1993; 27: 155-157
Moshi MJ. Current and future prospects of integrating traditional and alternative medicine in the management ofdiseases in Tanzania. Tanzania Health Research Bulletin 2005; 7(3): 159-167.
Moulds RFW, McNeil JJ. Herbal preparations to regulate or not to regulate? Med J Aust 1988; 149: 572-574.
Oshikoya KA, Senbanjo IO, Njokanma OF, Soipe A. Use of complementary and alternative medicines for children with chronic health conditions in Lagos. BMC Complemantary and Alternative Medicine 2008; 8:66.
Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria. Material Resources for Primary Health Care Infrastructure, Drugs, Equipment and Supplies. 'In' Primary Health Care in Nigeria: 30 Years after Alma Ata. Nigeria Health Review 2007. HERFON 2008; 92 - 102
Ezeoma ER, Anarado AN, Use of complementary and alternative medicine by cancer patients at the University ofNigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2007; 7:28.
Obi E, Agbasi PU, Ezjiofor NA, Maduagwuna C, Orisakwe OE. Safety warnings and first aid instructions on Nigerian Traditional Herbal Remedies. Are they adequate? World Journal of Medical Sciences 2006; 1(2): 108-111.
Chang ZG, Kennedy DT, Holdford DA, Small RE. Pharmacists' knowledge and attitude towards herbal medicines. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2000; 34(6): 710-715.
NAFDAC. The role of NAFDAC in regulation and control of herbal medicines in Nigeria available on http://www.paxherbalmagazine.com accessed on 15th June, 2009.
Huxtable RJ. The myth of beneficial nature: the risk ofherbal preparation. Ann Intern Med 1992; 117: 165-167.
Barnes J. Complementary Medicines and Pharmacists. The Pharmaceutical Journal 1999; 263(7067): 644-646.
Olateju MA. The structure of Yoruba local drug advertisement. International Journal of African and Africa-American studies 2005; 1(8): 78-90.
McCaffrey AM, Pugh GF, O'Connor BB. Understanding patients' preference for integrative medical care: results from patients focus groups. J Gen Intern Med 2007; 22(11): 1500-1505.
Okogun GRA, Amadi AN, Epidemiology, therapeutic agents and cost of management of paediatric malaria in Nigeria tertiary hospital. J Vect Borne Dis 2005; 42: 87-94.
Amira OC, Okubadejo NU. Frequency of complementary and alternative medicine utilization in hypertensive patients attending an urban tertiary care centre in Nigeria. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2007; 7(30).
Akogun OB, John KK. Illness-related practices for the management of childhood malaria among the Bwatiye people of north-eastern Nigeria. Malaria Journal 2001; 4:13
Abodunrin OL. Knowledge and perception of adult residents in Ilorin metropolis, Nigeria about NAFDAC-registered products and the implication. Nigeria Hospital Practice 2009; 4(1-2): 18-22
Adeyemi A. A rhetorical analysis of the discourse ofadvertising herbal medicine in south-western Nigeria. Linguistik online 33. 2008
Oshikoya KA, Senbanjo IO, Njokanma OF. Self-medication for infants with colic in Lagos, Nigeria. BMC Pediatric 2009; 9:9.
Benjamin SCU, Obinna EO. Socio-economic differences and health seeking behaviour for the diagnosis and treatment of malaria: a case study of four local government areas operating the Bamako initiative programme in south-east Nigeria. Int J Equity Health. 2004; 3: 6
Babalola S, Fatusi A. Determinants of use of maternal Abodunrin O.L, et al — Alternative Medication in IlorinThe Nigerian Health Journal, Vol. 11, No 2, April - June 2011Page 55health services in Nigeria - looking beyond individual and household factors. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2009; 9: 43.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2015 The Nigerian Health Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Journal is owned, published and copyrighted by the Nigerian Medical Association, River state Branch. The copyright of papers published are vested in the journal and the publisher. In line with our open access policy and the Creative Commons Attribution License policy authors are allowed to share their work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.
The use of general descriptive names, trade names, trademarks, and so forth in this publication, even if not specifically identified, does not imply that these names are not protected by the relevant laws and regulations. While the advice and information in this journal are believed to be true and accurate on the date of its going to press, neither the authors, the editors, nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein.
TNHJ also supports open access archiving of articles published in the journal after three months of publication. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g, in institutional repositories or on their website) within the stated period, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access). All requests for permission for open access archiving outside this period should be sent to the editor via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.