Indigenous knowledge of communities around Lake Victoria Basin regarding treatment and management of tuberculosis using medicinal plants
Okemo, P. O.
Orodho, John Aluko
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This survey was aimed to determine the indigenous knowledge of communities around Lake Victoria Region regarding the treatment and management of Tuberculosis. Opinion leaders suggested the names and locations of known Traditional Medical Practitioners (TMPs) in the study locale. A sample of 102 TMPS from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania residing around Lake Victoria Basis in East Africa participated in the study. Snow ball sampling technique was used to draw 22 TB patients claimed to have been treated by TMPs. It was established that local people have remarkable detailed knowledge of species identity, characteristics and their uses in the treatment and management of Tuberculosis. The main parts of the plants used include the root, bark, leaves and seeds in various combinations. It is concluded that local people have vast knowledge regarding the treatment of tuberculosis which is largely confined to the elderly, exploit the medicinal plants non-sustainably and use crude plant extracts as concoctions for treating and/or managing TB. It is recommended that traditional knowledge should be documented and top priority be given to the conservation of the habitat by launching special programs for raising people’s awareness about sustainable utilization of medicinal plant species and conservation.