Annals of African Medicine

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2007  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 84--85

Awareness, beliefs and practice of traditional medicine in a Nigerian community in the 21st Century


EO Agbaje, EO Babatunde 
 Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P. M. B. 12003, Idi- Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E O Agbaje
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P. M. B. 12003, Idi- Araba, Lagos
Nigeria




How to cite this article:
Agbaje E O, Babatunde E O. Awareness, beliefs and practice of traditional medicine in a Nigerian community in the 21st Century.Ann Afr Med 2007;6:84-85


How to cite this URL:
Agbaje E O, Babatunde E O. Awareness, beliefs and practice of traditional medicine in a Nigerian community in the 21st Century. Ann Afr Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2020 Jan 24 ];6:84-85
Available from: http://www.annalsafrmed.org/text.asp?2007/6/2/84/56364


Full Text

Traditional medicine (TM) is a part of the tradition or culture of each country where it is practiced. Western or scientific medicine, actually developed from TM, for example, William Withering, a keen botanist in 1785 identified digitalis as the potent agent in foxglove.

In Nigeria, the practice of TM has been informal and the health care is controlled by Orthodox medicine. The authors through this study embarked on the scientific evaluation of TM in the 21st century, among Nigerians by assessing their awareness, beliefs and practice.

Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State was selected as study location. The study sample was randomly selected to cover males and females, young and old of ages 12 and above. Three hundred and twenty, well - structured, fixed-alternative, and self-administered questionnaire that investigated awareness, beliefs and practice of TM were randomly distributed among respondents. Comparisons between groups were made using chi-squared test. Values of p[1] or those that are readily ascribed to an underlying disease e.g. hepatitis from the bile duct remedy celandine.[2] It must also be emphasized that herbs which are apparently safe under normal conditions may be more hazardous in specific patients under special circumstances e.g. during perioperative period[3] or when combined with conventional drugs e.g. hyperforin, a potent P450 inducer found in the herbal medicine St. John's wort.[4]

There is a need to allay the fears of TM practitioners who feel threatened and insecure. The government should launch an awareness programme that will promote effective uses of local medicaments.

References

1Blumenthal M. The complete German commission E Monographs-therapeutic guide to herbal medicines, 1999
2Benninger J, Schneider HT, Schuppan D, Kirchner T, Hahn EG. Acute hepatitis by greater celandine (Chelidonium majus). Gastroenterology 1999; 17: 1234-1237
3Ang-Lee MK., Moss J, Yuan CS. Herbal medicines and perioperative care. JAMA 2001; 286: 208-216
4Schwartz UI, Buschel B, Kirch W. Unwanted pregnancy on self-medication with St. John's wort despite hormonal contraception. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2003; 55: 112-113