BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Herbal medicine use among pregnant women is increasing in many low and high income countries due to their cost-effectiveness in treatment and ease of access. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined herbal medicines as “herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products that contain as active ingredients parts of plants, or other plant materials, or combinations” [WHO, 2016]. Although, herbal medicines may be produced from any part of the plant, they are commonly made from the leaves, roots, bark, seeds, and flowers [Bandaranayake et al, 2016]. The herbs are eaten, swallowed, drunk, inhaled, or applied to the skin [Akerele, 2013]. In spite of the great advances observed in modern medicine in recent decades, medicinal plants still play a key role in world health [Calixto, 2010].
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In a setting like Nigeria where there is strong perception and widespread utilization of herbal preparations, it becomes imperative to investigate its use in pregnancy due to the effects it could have on the unborn child and the mother. Moreover, the need for nurses to have a reliable empirical data on the perception and utilization of herbal remedy in pregnancy is becoming extremely important for effective educational interventions. This will promote safe motherhood and reduce maternal and infant mortality resulting from misuse of herbs. Even though studies conducted across the six geo-political zones revealed strong perception of herbal remedy and high consumption rate among the Nigerian populace [Bamidele et al, 2011; Elujoba et al, 2015], few research evidences exist on its use during pregnancy.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the use of herbal medicine among pregnant women attending antenatal care in Shani Local Government Area. Other general objectives of the study are:
- To investigate the prevalence of utilization of herbal medicine among pregnant women attending antenatal
- To examine the common herbal remedies used among women in Pregnancy
- To examine factors that influences the utilization of herbal drugs among pregnant women attending antenatal
- To assess women’s perception of safety and efficacy of herbal drugs among pregnant women attending antenatal
- To examine intervention programs to address issues relating to the use of herbal medicine among pregnant women
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- How is the prevalence of utilization of herbal medicine among pregnant women attending antenatal?
- What are the common herbal remedies used among women in Pregnancy?
- What are the factors that influence the utilization of herbal drugs among pregnant women attending antenatal?
- How is the perception of women about safety and efficacy of herbal drugs among pregnant women attending antenatal?
- What are the intervention programs to address issues relating to the use of herbal medicine among pregnant women?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant use of herbal medicine among pregnant women attending antenatal care in Shani Local Government Area.
H1: There is a significant use of herbal medicine among pregnant women attending antenatal care in Shani Local Government Area.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study aimed at finding the magnitude at which herbal medicines are used during pregnancy and their associated factors. Results obtained will be used in health education delivery in antenatal clinics, enlighten the health providers about the magnitude so that they don’t attribute all poor foetal outcomes to herbs and therefore improve obstetric care. Knowledge of the extent and nature of use of herbal medicine related to pregnancy, labour and post-partum period is necessary for proper guidance in the health interest of both the mother and foetus. The study will also be of benefits to the midwives/nurses by assisting in planning and educating pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in Shani Local government on the importance and uses of herbal medicine in Nigeria. Further, the results of the study will help inform public health discourse about the use of alternative systems of care in the presence of a modern health care system. It will also be used as the baseline for more researches regarding use of herbal medicines in pregnancy.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on use of herbal medicine among pregnant women attending antenatal care, a case study of Shani Local Government, Borno State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF 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.
1.9 OPERATIONALIZATION DEFINITION OF TERMS
Traditional Medicine: Traditional medicine is defined as the health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being.
Herbal Medicine: Herbal medicines are defined as plant-derived materials or preparations perceived to have therapeutic benefits; they often contain raw or processed ingredients from one or more plants. Herbal medicines include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations, and finished herbal products that contain parts of plants or other plant materials as active ingredients (WHO, 2018).
Pregnant Women: Pregnant women refer to women who are pregnant and in the age group between 19 to 35 yrs and are alslo considered as herbal medicines users if they take the herbal medicines through oral, intra-vaginal or topical routes. Other preparations that are consumed as nutriments and within routine meal preparation such as food additives were excluded.
Antenatal Care: Antenatal care is the routine health control of presumed healthy pregnant women without symptoms (screening), in order to diagnose diseases or complicating obstetric conditions without symptoms, and to provide information about lifestyle, pregnancy and delivery.
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