Perceived Indications, Safety and Efficacy of Perinatal Use of Traditional and Spiritual Remedies among Mothers of Under-Five Children in Kano, North- Western Nigeria
Background: Herbal and spiritual remedies are increasingly being used in the management of perinatal conditions. Objectives: To determine the pattern of use of herbal and spiritual remedies during perinatal period, and the perceived indications, efficacy and safety of these remedies among mothers of under-five children in Kano. Subjects and Methods: A descriptive crosssectional design was used to study a random sample of 189 mothers. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS statistics 22. The chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test were used for univariate analysis.
Result: The means of respondents’ age and their number of children were 33.3 ± 9.2 years and 4.7 ± 2.6 respectively. Three-quarters of the mothers (76.2%) used herbal and/or spiritual remedies within the perinatal period, mostly orally (97.9%); 63.2% used them in combination with orthodox medicines. The main indications were maintaining good health during pregnancy (39.6%); easy labour and safe delivery (39.6%); and treatment of common ailments (28.5%). Majority believed that herbal (66.1%) and spiritual (70.9%) remedies are very effective on pregnancy related problems; 57.1% and 78.8% believed that herbal and spiritual remedies are very effective on problems of labour and pueperium respectively. Most believed that spiritual remedies are safe during pregnancy (94.2%) and in labour and pueperium (97.9%); and herbs are safe during labour and pueperium (91.0%). Conclusion: Health authorities in Nigeria should institutionalize structures for censoring, training, regulation of TM practice and safety of remedies used.
Keywords: Indications, Safety, Perinatal use, Traditional remedies, Northwestern Nigeria