Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 569

Full Length Research Paper

The perception and beliefs on tuberculosis among traditional healers in Remo North Local Government Area, Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria

Albert Adekunle Salako and O. O. Sholeye
Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria. Department of Community Medicine, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 December 2011
  •  Published: 30 June 2012

Abstract

With the aid of a pre-tested semi-structured interview questionnaire, 30 traditional healers in Remo North Local Government Area of Ogun State in the Southwestern part of Nigeria were identified by their certificate of apprenticeship. A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess their knowledge on the symptoms of tuberculosis, their perceptions, beliefs and their practices as regards to the management of tuberculosis. A large percentage (60.0%) of the traditional healers knew the symptoms of tuberculosis but did not refer to the hospital because they believed that the disease is due to witchcraft, spells, poisons, eating forbidden food, familial causes, alcohol, cigarette smoking or mystical causes, and 70.0% rely on herbal concoctions to treat the disease. Intensive tuberculosis health education should be extended to traditional healers. Government through public health institutions should mobilize health educators and organize workshops to educate the traditional healers about tuberculosis. The referral system should be improved- that is, via these organized workshops. The traditional healers need to be conversant with early signs and symptoms of tuberculosis for early referral to the appropriate health institutions.

 

Key words: Tuberculosis, perception, tuberculosis health education, referral system.