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The Role of Herbalists in the Management of Severe and Uncomplicated Malaria among Children in the Shama Ahanta East and Ahanta West Districts of Ghana
The role of herbalists in the management of malaria in Ghana is yet to be recognized despite the proliferation of antimalarial herbal products produced by the herbalists, on the Ghanaian mar-ket. This study was carried out to ascertain the role of herbalists in the management of severe and uncomplicated malaria among children in the Shama-Ahanta East and Ahanta West Dis-tricts of the Western Region of Ghana. The study areas were divided into twelve clusters, ques-tionnaires and focus group discussions were used to obtain the needed information on the peo-ple�s knowledge about malaria, their perception of the herbal medicinal practice and the role herbalists play in the management of severe and uncomplicated malaria among children. All the herbalists involved in the study used plants with neem tree (Azadiracta indica) being the most commonly used (43%). The study indicated that 75.6% of mothers patronized recognized health-care services with only 7.3% patronizing both the services of the herbalists and recognized healthcare providers whilst 17.1% of the mothers relied solely on the services of herbalists. All the herbalists managed convulsion but only 65% collaborated with health centres in the manage-ment of malaria. The study has unveiled the significant role of herbalists in the management of malaria in the two districts.