Identification of plants used for treatment of malaria and factors influencing their use in Boro Division Siaya County, Kenya
Olala, Christine Nechesa
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Malaria is a public health problem in more than 90 countries inhabited by over 2.4 billion people. Currently the cheapest drugs for treatment of malaria are becoming ineffective as malarial parasites develop resistance. Historically, local communities have used local flora for prophylaxis and treatment of malaria for centuries. The objective of the study was to determine the plant sources of anti malarial herbs and factors influencing their use in Boro Division, Siaya County. The specific objectives of the study included examination of the community knowledge on malaria treatment and control, prevalence of malaria infection, the health seeking behavior, identification/ documentation of herbal plants used to treat malaria, factors influencing the choice of use of herbal medicine, effectiveness of herbal medicine in the treatment of Malaria and community use herbal plants to control malaria. The site of the study was Boro division which is one of the divisions that make up Siaya county. The study used both analytical and descriptive design in obtaining the information concerning the current status of herbal medicine in Boro Division, Siaya county, Kenya and a description of what exists with respect to variables or conditions in the area of study. The target population was from Boro Division of Siaya County and consisted of adult population in each village that were selected as participants. However, the key informants were herbal medicine users. Given that the population of study area was greater than 10,000 the Fisher et al. (1998) formula was applied to determine the sample size giving a total of 244 respondents. Primary data from Boro Division, Siaya County was collected using questionnaires, while secondary data was collected through reviewing records of the study relevant to the subject. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics (correlation, regression and chi square), while qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. Presentation of data was in form of tables, where it provides successful interpretation of the findings. Descriptive data was provided in form of explanatory notes. The study concluded that there is continuous usage of herbs implying that the community has good knowledge about malaria and can readily distinguish it from other fever types of diseases; malaria prevalence is common in the area; health seeking behavior of the local community is characterized by going to the herbalist for treatment, getting medicine from the herbalist;, preference of herbal medicine is based on socio-economic factors such as religion, marital category, and educational level, number of children, monthly income and number of financial dependants, increased accessibility/availability of herbs, low cost of traditional medicine, negotiable prices and payment format. The most frequently used herb for treatment of malaria is ogaka (Aloe latevitia). The local community prevents/controls malaria by reducing mosquitoes through burning of logs and plants such as Albizia coriaria and use of green form of plants as repellants.
- MST-Zoological Sciences