Current status, role and challenges of traditional medical practitioners involved in management of diabetes mellitus in Nigeria
Patients suffering from Diabetes mellitus in Nigeria have resulted to consulting Traditional Medical Practitioners (TMPs) to manage their health conditions. There are no available data on the role and status of traditional medicine practice in the management of the disease in the country. A study was iniated in 2009, to document this in six geographical zones of the country. Data was collected through oral interviews in the local languages of over 90 practitioners and responses documented in a specially designed questionnaire along with prior informed consent form and entered into a database. This paper intends to highlight the results obtained which include collection of over 80 recipes in various forms, (mostly of plant based), preliminary screening which yielded 4 most active recipes along with pharmacognostic standards, adequate referral system of the practise, low percentage of women involved in the practise, inadequate educational background of practitioners, good understanding of disease diagnosis, inadeqiate record keeping and improved shelf life of products. Challenges include need for training on standardization methods of thier products and practise, establisgment of botanical gardens due to derorestation, establishment of clinics and more opportunities for product resgistartion. These results are required to aid the promotion, standardization and integration of the practice into National Health Care System.
Acknowledgement: The authors wish to acknowledge the STEPB Project of the World Bank for award of Research Grant for this study as part of a larger study.