Community Acceptance of Collaboration Between Ophthalmologists and Traditional Healers in Rural Nigeria

  • C O Omolase
  • J Adido
  • C O Fadamiro
  • B O Omolase
  • F G Adepoju
  • M J Saka

Abstract



This is a cross sectional community-based study that determined acceptability of collaboration between ophthalmologists and traditional eye care providers in Afon a rural community in Kwara state, Nigeria. The views of traditional healers and ophthalmologists were also sought. This study was conducted between March and April, 2005 as well as September,2007. A total number of three hundred and thirty nine adult inhabitants of the community were selected by the authors using cluster sampling technique. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered on the respondents by the author for correspondence and three assistants. Information regarding bio data and view of respondents on prospects of collaboration between ophthalmologists and traditional eye care providers were obtained. A focus group discussion was held between the author for correspondence and thirty two traditional healers practicing in the community in April,2005 to establish their readiness for collaboration with ophthalmologists .One hundred and one ophthalmologists practicing in Nigeria were interviewed during the annual congress of the Ophthalmological society of Nigeria in September,2007 to establish their views on collaboration with traditional healers. Majority (77%) of the respondents in Afon community expressed support for collaboration between ophthalmologists and traditional healers while 20% did not support collaboration. The thirty two traditional healers practicing in the community were ready for collaboration with ophthalmologists. Majority of the ophthalmologists interviewed (57.6%) were against collaboration with traditional healers. Collaboration between eye care providers and traditional healers is acceptable to Afon community and traditional healers. However most Nigerian ophthalmologists are against collaboration with traditional healers. There is need for flexibility on the part of all concerned for any meaningful collaboration between ophthalmologists and traditional healers.

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 52 (3) 2007: pp. 70-74
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Articles

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