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Towards integrating traditional medicine (TM) into National Health Care Scheme (NHCS): Assessment of TM practitioners’ disposition in Lagos, Nigeria

Journal of Herbal Medicine
DOI: 10.1016/j.hermed.2011.09.002
  • Traditional Medicine Practitioners
  • Nigeria
  • National Health Care Scheme
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Herbal Pharmacovigilance
  • Policy
  • Education
  • Medicine


Abstract The WHO has proposed the organisation and training of practitioners of TM for PHC (primary health care) services to enable the use of traditional systems of medicine with appropriate regulations based on national health systems. Thus, the traditional medicine practitioners (TMPs) are presently employing a series of strategies to ensure integration of their practices into the National Health Care Scheme (NHCS). This study determined the knowledge of TMPs about their practices. It also assessed their disposition towards ensuring safety measures in their practices towards subsequent integration into NHCS. A descriptive survey was carried out using a WHO standardized questionnaire to obtain the opinion of 170 volunteer TMPs knowledge about their practice in Awolowo market, Odi-Olowo, Lagos, Nigeria. A few (18%) of the respondents believed that herbal preparations have adverse effects. The results further showed that the respondents (64%) were disposed to scientists investigating their herbal preparations. The majority (54%) have the intention to collaborate with orthodox medical practitioners if they have the opportunity. The respondents (76%) believed that levels of education may have roles to play in their practices, while 59% of them have intention to improve their educational status. The Government should ideally constitute a body that will facilitate the integration of TM into NHCS as proposed by the WHO, in order to make health care much more effective in the near future. Traditional and Western medicine are individual valid treatment options, yet each has its limitations and neither of them has all the treatment answers. This integration may enhance safety use of herbal remedies and appropriate practice of TM.

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