Ethnobotanical Survey of Plants Traditionally Used for Malaria Prevention and Treatment in Selected Resettlement and Indigenous Villages in Sasiga District, Western Ethiopia

Oljira Kenea, Habte Tekie


Despite rapid control scale-up with insecticides and drugs, malaria remains one of the major health problems in Ethiopia. Increased resistance to insecticides and established drugs by malaria vectors and parasites in that order and their prohibitive costs necessitate the search for alternative cost-effective malaria control tools in the country. Traditional remedies are the most important source of therapeutics for nearly 80% of the population and 95% of the traditional medical preparations in Ethiopia is of plant origin. As the Ethiopian indigenous medicinal plants' knowledge and diversity is vulnerable to be lost when communities migrate to a different flora driven by human actions, continuous documentation and preservation of traditional knowledge and the plant species is a priority. Thus, we report an ethnobotanical survey of plants traditionally used for malaria prevention and treatment in a native and resettled village in Sasiga district, western Ethiopia. To document anti-malarial plant traditional knowledge and determine level of utilization for prevention and treatment of malaria by households, 50 household heads (5% of all households per village) were surveyed of which five household heads per village were traditional healers and included by snow ball sampling. Whereas the rest were addressed by systematic sampling in which every 20th household head was considered. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews performed during field survey and were analyzed using a statistical computer program SPSS version 20.0. A total of sixteen plant species belonging to fourteen families have been reported which were used to prevent and treat malaria by the people. The most cited plant species for malaria prevention by both villages were Allium sativum (78.22%), Melia azedarach (75.44%) and Echinops kebericho (65.22%). Whereas, the major plant species exploited for malaria treatment in the villages in decreasing order of use report were Allium sativum (84.00%), Phoenix reclinata (81.00%), Schinus molle (79.55%), Carica papaya (77.11%), Vigna unguiculata (75.44%) and Lepidium sativum (69.33%).This study has documented more anti-malarial plant species to be used in the indigenous village as compared to the resettled village. The existing medicinal plant species and the indigenous knowledge on traditional medicinal plants in the recently resettled area were under serious threat and were at risk of getting lost. Therefore, urgently warrant sustainable conservation and further research.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, malaria vectors, medicinal plants, resettlement

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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