Understanding lay perspectives: care options for STD treatment in Lusaka, Zambia.
Understanding lay persons' perceptions of STD care is critical in the design and implementation of appropriate health services. Using 20 unstructured group interviews, 10 focus group discussions and 4 STD case simulations in selected sub-populations in Lusaka, we investigated lay person perspectives of STD services. The study revealed a large diversity of care options for STD in the communities, including self-care, traditional healers, medicine sold in the markets and streets, injections administered in the compounds, private clinics, health centres and hospital. The factors identified as influencing care seeking behaviour are: lay referral mechanisms, social cost, availability of care options, economics, beliefs, stigma and quality of care as perceived by the users. (+info)
Traditional bone setter's gangrene.
Traditional bone setter's gangrene (TBSG) is the term we use to describe the sequelae sometimes seen after treatment with native fracture splints. Twenty five consecutive complications were recorded in 25 patients aged between 5-50 years with a median age of 10 years. The major complication of the native fracture splint treatment was distal limb gangrene necessitating proximal amputations in 15 cases. (+info)
A clinical trial of 'AM', a Ugandan herbal remedy for malaria.
BACKGROUND: Mortality and morbidity from malaria is still high in Africa, and may further increase as resistance to antimalarial drugs spreads. Many people rely on herbal medicines as the first line of treatment. Yet there has been very little clinical research into their effectiveness. METHODS: Patients being treated for malaria at a herbalists' clinic in South-West Uganda were followed up and their response to a particular herb, 'AM', was monitored. Eighty-eight patients were enrolled; 72 were followed up for at least 2 days, and were questioned about side-effects. Nineteen patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum had initial parasite counts sufficiently high for parasite clearance to be assessed. RESULTS: No severe adverse reactions were observed, although about 50 per cent experienced minor side-effects. Although complete parasite clearance was achieved in only one case, the geometric mean of parasite counts had declined significantly by day 7. There was also a marked symptomatic improvement in 17 of the 19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: AM appears safe, although it is not always well tolerated. Significant symptomatic improvement and a reduction of parasite counts were observed in patients taking AM. There is a need for further research, such as a randomized controlled trial, to assess the efficacy of this treatment. (+info)
An assessment of home remedy use by African Americans.
This analysis represents the first national look at family and individual use of home remedies by African Americans. The purpose is to examine home remedy usage by African-American individuals and their families and assess the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and home remedy usage for African-American families and African-American individuals. Using logistic regression, a secondary analysis of the National Survey on Black Americans (NSBA) data (N = 2107) was conducted to examine factors associated with home remedy use. Multivariate analysis indicated that parent's education, importance of religion, living with a grandparent, and living in a rural area were associated with families' use of home remedies. Age, gender, living with a grandparent, education, and geographic region were associated with individual home remedy use. The results of this research may provide insight to health care practitioners in their challenge of appropriately integrating self-care practices (i.e., home remedy use) and the use of the formal health care system among the patients that utilize both "scientific" and "folk" medical systems. When possible, treatment plans should be adapted to consider patients' demographics, health beliefs, and self-care practices. Health care providers should encourage patient and family involvement and dialogue regarding therapeutic approaches. As more information becomes available, health care practitioners will be better able to ascertain the possible health consequences of concurrent usage of home remedies and prescription drug therapies. (+info)
'Killer' canines: the morbidity and mortality of ebino in northern Uganda.
In northern Uganda, unerupted primary canine teeth are commonly extracted because they are believed to cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever. This practice, known as ebino, is performed under very crude conditions often using unclean tools. To evaluate the morbidity and mortality of complications related to ebino, we retrospectively analysed discharge records from the paediatric ward of Lacor Hospital, Gulu. In the period 1992-98, ebino-related complications, mainly sepsis and anaemia, were among the leading causes of admission (n = 740) and hospital death (n = 156, case fatality rate = 21.1%, proportional mortality rate = 3.3%). Discouraging the adoption of deeply rooted traditional practices that are potentially hazardous to health should be a public health priority in northern Uganda. This could be done by educating not only the general public, but also traditional healers and community and religious leaders, who could convey the knowledge to their people. (+info)
Promoting breastfeeding in rural Gambia: combining traditional and modern knowledge.
Sub-optimal breastfeeding practices still prevail in many countries, especially in traditional rural communities. Despite high breastfeeding initiation rates and long total duration of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding is a rare practice. In the present study, quantitative methods were used to identify current infant feeding practices in 12 rural communities in The GAMBIA: Results indicated that delayed initiation of breastfeeding, prelacteal feeding and failure to practice exclusive breastfeeding were widespread. Qualitative data further indicated that current beliefs and practices were strongly influenced by traditional beliefs and practices. These were kept very much alive by elders, both women and men, including husbands. The results also showed an unexpected support for bottle-feeding from both male and female elders who considered it part of the modernization process. A strategy for promoting early initiation of breastfeeding, feeding of colostrum and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months in rural communities should therefore incorporate traditional beliefs and practices into modern messages on optimal breastfeeding. Traditional beliefs and practices in the study setting that could be used in this way included knowledge from the population's acquaintance with the newborns of their livestock. It also included the traditional practice of mothers taking their very young children with them when going to work in the fields. The paper suggests such a strategy by developing a matrix to establish linkages between modern and traditional knowledge on a specific practice. Such linkages facilitate the acceptance of recommendations on infant feeding by mothers in these communities. The strategy recommends an expanded target group to include elders and husbands, as the data show that these groups are highly influential in matters regarding patterns of child feeding. (+info)
Complications of fracture treatment by traditional bonesetters in southwest Nigeria.
BACKGROUND: Traditional bonesetters (TBS) practice widely in Nigeria. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate the types of complications seen in patients previously treated by TBS and to assess factors that may predispose to the complications. METHODS: We carried out a prospective non-randomized controlled study in a general hospital in southwest Nigeria. All patients brought into the hospital over the 10-month study period with fractures who had been treated previously by a TBS and, as a control, all patients brought directly to and treated by us were studied. Each patient was assessed and prescribed the most appropriate treatment for their fracture: reduction, immobilization (operatively and otherwise) and physiotherapy. Malunion, non-union, delayed union, gangrene, stiffness of joints and loss of joint motion, Volkman's ischaemic contracture and tetanus were all investigated. RESULTS: Over half of the patients in the TBS subgroup had malunion, and a quarter had non-union. Only one out of the 36 (2.8%) had no complaints and was satisfied with the outcome of treatment of his fractures by the TBS. In the orthodox subgroup, there were seven complications as a result of treatment of a total of 49 bones (14%). Most of the complications involved the loss of joint motion. CONCLUSIONS: There were no statistically significant associations between the complications recorded and the ages of the patients, types of bone fractured or the duration of treatment in patients who were in the TBS subgroup. The introduction of a health insurance scheme in Nigeria may make it easier for individuals and families to be able to afford proper fracture treatment in hospitals. (+info)
Infertility in South Africa: women's reproductive health knowledge and treatment-seeking behaviour for involuntary childlessness.
BACKGROUND: Infertility is a major reproductive health problem in Africa. This paper presents the findings of two studies which focus on the knowledge that infertile women have about fertility and the causes of infertility, their treatment-seeking behaviour and their expectations of an infertility clinic. METHODS: A total of 150 infertile women from a culturally diverse, urban community in South Africa participated in the two studies. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied using in-depth, semi-structured interviews and structured questionnaires. RESULTS: The women who participated had little knowledge about human reproduction and modern treatment options for infertility. They were highly motivated to find treatment and accessed both traditional and modern health care. Treatment barriers within modern health care were identified. CONCLUSIONS: The importance of health education and counselling is recognized, and both need to be integrated into infertility management, particularly in the developing world. The introduction of clinical guidelines is recommended in order to overcome treatment barriers and improve the delivery of health services. (+info)