1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Herbal medical practice is a traditional practice that comprised mainly of herbal and dietary supplement, acupuncture, energy therapies, body-based and mind body-based therapies. Herbal medical practices differ greatly from country to country and from region to region, as they are influenced by factors such as culture, history, personal attitude and philosophy. In many cases, their theory and application are quite different from those of conventional medicine (WHO 2013). Long historical use of herbal medical practices of traditional medicine including experience passed from generation to generation, has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of herbal medicine. Different types of traditional medicines include herbal medicine, bone setting, Traditional birth attendance. The use of folk beliefs and knowledge of traditional healers is a short cut to the discovery and isolation of pharmacologically active compound (Holland 1994). 80% of population in some Africa and Asian country relies on TM for their primary health need (WHO 2008). Although, modern medicine may exist side-by-side with such traditional practice, traditional medicine has often maintained their popularity for historical and cultural reasons Traditional medicine (TM) essentially represents a natural form of health care which has been used through generations. It is a practice derived from the values and perception of the members of the community (Owomi 2011). This is a practice that goes beyond the maintenance of good health of the populace as it also protects the people from the menace of wild animals, evil spirits, motor accidents, bountiful harvests and other human activities (Roan 2012) . Traditional medicine is an evolutionary process as individuals and communities continue to discover new techniques that can transform practice in the field of medicinal sciences (Osborne 2013). Traditional medicine and drug discovery using natural products is still an important issue in the current target-rich lead-poor scenario (Patwardhan 2014). Traditional medicine has given useful synthetic clue of modern drugs in the past (Gregory j. 2014). Most of these plant derived drugs were originally discovered through the study of herbal cures and folk knowledge of traditional people and these could not be substituted despite the enormous advancement in synthetic chemistry (Gilani AH 2012). Herbal medicine is the most commonly used TM worldwide (WHO 2012). Aside the direct usage of plant secondary metabolites in their original forms as drugs, these compounds can also be used as drug precursors, templates for synthetic modification, and pharmacological probes. Despite the recent interest in newer methods of drug discovery, natural-product-derived compounds are still proving to be an invaluable source of medicines for humans (Salim 2008). Another reason for growing popularity of herbal medicines is that many people believe they are safer and more natural than pharmaceuticals. However, studies have shown that not all natural products are safe as some poisons are also natural (Osborne 2013). A study of the roll back malaria initiative in Nigeria revealed herbal medicine is the first choice for home treatment of nearly two thirds of children with high fever. The new health agenda in Nigeria and Africa focuses on the institutionalization of the natural medicine in parallel with orthodox medicine into the natural health care scheme in order to move the health agenda forward since, effective health cannot be achieved in Africa by orthodox medicine (Elujoba 2012). Herbal medicines are classified as any products originating from plants and used to preserve or recover health, as described by the National Institutes of Health (2011). Historical data show that herbal medicine has been used for over 5000 years (Swerdlow Jl 2013) and was the only documented medicine in use during that time. Animal and mineral products were also used by ancient systems of medicine including Siddha, Ayurveda, and Chinese medicine (2012). Currently, thousands of herbal products are available over the counter and are commonly used by the general population in the Nigeria. Herbal products are among a comprehensive assortment of treatments referred to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and many of them are still lacking scientific evidence of effectiveness and safety. The increased popularity of treating patients with various illnesses using CAM is evident throughout the past decades (Ernst 2013). Consumers use herbal medicines in combination with both prescription and nonprescription drugs. Those users specify that their use of herbal medicine demonstrates their independence in managing their health problems, thereby improving their general well-being and enhancing longevity (Winslow 2008).Although herbal medical practice plays a vital role in Nigerian society, knowledge about the extent and characteristics of traditional healing practices and practitioners is limited and has frequently been ignored in the national health system. Hence, this study aims at identifying the prevalence of herbal medical practice in Ogbadibo local government, Benue State, Nigeria.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The health system in Nigeria has gone through series of evolution and revolution since the attainment of political independence. Nevertheless, like other developing countries, Nigeria is still struggling to find the means to providing effective, efficient, appropriate and comprehensive health care system for its ever growing population. Transmissible diseases that are preventable but accounting for the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country (Buor, 2008a) melancholically continue to place a toll on the population. With the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, coupled with the escalating costs of health services, there is an urgent need to extend health services beyond orthodox medicine (OM).Diseases have afflicted man for ages but humans always make effort to remedy the situation in order to regain a life disturbed by these ailments. The earliest form of healing substances had been herbal medicines, but with the advent of civilization which had led to better scientific understanding of diseases and medications, orthodox medicines have become the main and well recognized products for the management of diseases in modern health systems.
AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the prevalence of herbal medical practice in Ogbadibo L.G.A. Benue state. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: there is no significant influence of prevalence of herbal medical practices on health conditions of residents of Ogbadibo L.G.A in Benue state.
H1: there is a significant influence of prevalence of herbal medical practices on health conditions of residents of Ogbadibo L.G.A in Benue state.
H0: there is no significant relationship between prevalence of herbal medical practice and health conditions of residents of Ogbadibo L.G.A in Benue state.
H1: there is a significant relationship between prevalence of herbal medical practice and health conditions of residents of Ogbadibo L.G.A in Benue state.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will provide important data for the State Ministry of Health, which will enable them to take appropriate controlling measures regarding the quality and safety of the herbal medical practice in Nigeria. The study will also provide the baseline data for researchers for further investigations to determine the determining factors of herbal medical practice uses. This study would also be of immense benefit to students and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
The study is restricted to prevalence of herbal medical practice in Ogbadibo L.G.A. in Benue state.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Herbs: Can be defined as a plant which lacks permanent woody stem that produces seeds and flowers and dies after a particular season. They are medicinal in nature and can also be used for horticultural purposes.
Herbal medicine: Is a natural remedy derived from herbs.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS