Utilization of Alternative Medical Services by People of a North central City of Nigeria

  • OL Abodunrin
  • T Omojasola
  • OO Rojugbokan
Keywords: Alternative therapy, utilization, medical services, safety.


Introduction: The use of alternative therapies 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 AT use.
Materials and 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 AT use was 67.7% while total prevalence of 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 9-
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 but unsafe AT use in Ilorin. There should be intensification of regulation of advertisement and sales of  unwholesome herbal medicines. Further research to integrate the practice into modern healthcare is recommended.

Key Words: Alternative therapy, utilization, medical services, safety.


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eISSN: 0856-8960