Pattern Of Household Use Of Traditional Medicines For The Management Of Children’s Ailments In The Nzema East District

ABSTRACT The pattern of Traditional Medicine use by households in the management of children’s ailments was studied, using qualitative methods in the Nzema East district of the Western Region of Ghana. The purpose of the study was to explore how the practice interacts with health seeking behaviour of households in the event of a child falling ill as well as circumstances that contribute to the practice. The study was necessitated by complains from the District Health Management Team and other health personnel, that the use of traditional preparations to manage ailments in children was having adverse effects on their health. The major tool used was a household questionnaire administered to 162 households, selected randomly, from six communities. Additional data was collected from ten herbalists by using a specially designed interview schedule. Narrative representations of illness (illness stories) were also collected from 16 households and analyzed. One important finding was that a new pattern of health seeking behaviour is emerging among households that use traditional childcare practices as well as modem health care facilities. Findings have shown that in the event of a child falling ill, households first employ their known traditional treatment procedures. If these fail, they bypass herbalists in their communities and send the children to a modem health care facility. However, if they are still not satisfied with the care, especially in chronic illness, then a health seeking web evolves, in which households visit the herbalists, go back to hospital and use their own known treatments. This finding seems to disagree with some earlier findings, particularly those of Melrose, which indicated that about sixty one percent of mothers take their ill children first to a herbalist before seeking care at a modem health care facility. It was also found that communities have their own classification of which ailments of children are “hospital ailments”, for which they seek hospital care. Fractures and boils among children are not considered suitable for modem medical care. Athsma and Unossified fontannele are two conditions of children that are exclusively cured satisfactorily with traditional medicines by either households or the herbalist. Though the pharmacological aspects of herbal medicaments used in treating children’s ailments was not studied, the use of substances such as goats’ excreta, clay and ginger as additives to preparations for enema, were subjectively viewed, by the researcher, as potentially dangerous to the health of children. Sharing of syringes used for enema among children was another practice accompanying childcare that was seen as potentially dangerous. Reasons for the use of traditional methods for treating children’s ailments included poverty, lack of access to modem health care, due to various factors, unexplained preferences of households and the rather relatively easy access to knowledge and supply of traditional medicine. Administration of enema to children was found to be more of a habit, in most cases, than for any real therapeutic purpose.

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APA

ANYOMI, P (2021). Pattern Of Household Use Of Traditional Medicines For The Management Of Children’s Ailments In The Nzema East District. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/pattern-of-household-use-of-traditional-medicines-for-the-management-of-children-s-ailments-in-the-nzema-east-district

MLA 8th

ANYOMI, PAUL "Pattern Of Household Use Of Traditional Medicines For The Management Of Children’s Ailments In The Nzema East District" Afribary. Afribary, 11 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/pattern-of-household-use-of-traditional-medicines-for-the-management-of-children-s-ailments-in-the-nzema-east-district. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

ANYOMI, PAUL . "Pattern Of Household Use Of Traditional Medicines For The Management Of Children’s Ailments In The Nzema East District". Afribary, Afribary, 11 Apr. 2021. Web. 12 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/pattern-of-household-use-of-traditional-medicines-for-the-management-of-children-s-ailments-in-the-nzema-east-district >.

Chicago

ANYOMI, PAUL . "Pattern Of Household Use Of Traditional Medicines For The Management Of Children’s Ailments In The Nzema East District" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 12, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/pattern-of-household-use-of-traditional-medicines-for-the-management-of-children-s-ailments-in-the-nzema-east-district