Local Management of Tuberculosis by Traditional Medicine Practitioners in Lake Victoria Region

Tuberculosis (TB) is now a global public health problem that has been exacerbated by the emergence of multiand extensively-drug resistant (MDR and XDR, respectively) strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There have been claims in the region by Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMPs) about being able to treat the symptoms of TB, but their work lacked proper documentation. A structured questionnaire was used to test the ability of (TMPs) to diagnose and treat symptoms of TB; the medicinal plants used treat TB symptoms, as well as the influence of socio-economic and cultural factors on the indigenous communities’ choice of treatment. A total of 99 TMPs and 22 TB patients were interviewed. Over 30 medicinal plants were mentioned as being used to treat symptoms of TB, an indication of wide knowledge on management of TB in the region. Treatment costs were found to influence the patients’ choice of TB treatment and a large proportion of the TMPs were found to be of advanced age (60-80 years of age). The conclusion was that TMPs have reasonable knowledge about TB and its management. There is urgent need to tap the indigenous knowledge from the custodians and scientifically validate it for future drug development.
Multi-drug resistant tuberculosi, Extensively drug resistant tuberculosis, Traditional medicine practitioners, Socioeconomic and cultural factors, Lake Victoria Region
A Orodho, J., Kirimuhuzya, C., N Otieno, J., J Magadula, J., & Okemo, P. (2011). Local management of tuberculosis by traditional medicine practitioners in Lake Victoria Region. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal, 3(1).