Use of Herbal Medicine in the Management of Malaria in the Urban-periphery, Ghana

Charlotte Monica Mensah, Razak Mohammed Gyasi


Herbal medicine use has been reported a common practice among individuals with clinical and complicated malaria but correlates of herbal medicine use among malaria subjects remain implicit. This cross-sectional study analysed the frequency of and factors associated with utilization of herbal medical services amongst malaria victims in urban-periphery, Kwabre East District, Ghana. A total of 189 malaria subjects and 5 traditional medical providers were respectively selected through systematic random sampling and snowball technique for the study. Structured and in-depth interview guides were utilised as the main data collection instruments. Whilst the quantitative data were analyzed using linear regression model through PASW for widows application software (v. 17.0), the qualitative data were subjected to content analysis. Results suggest that herbal therapy was trendy amongst malaria subjects (95, 50.3%) and a crux in malaria treatment efforts and strategies. Some participants (29.7%) however indicated pluralism of herbal and modern health care. Use of herbal medicine was significantly associated with perceived less side-effects, cost-effectiveness, efficacy and availability (p < 0.05). Besides, herbal medical practitioners were experienced and possessed a stash of knowledge of treating the disease. Preservation of traditional approach of malaria treatment and the medicinal plants required to boost the process is urgent. Research direction is recommended to unravel the safety and quality of medicinal plants not only in the treatment of malaria but other communicable diseases.

Keywords: Herbal medicine, Malaria, Perceived side-effects, Urban-periphery, Ghana.

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

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