As many anthropological and sociological studies have shown, there are multiple factors contributing to different health-care seeking patterns. Many times, tradicional/ alternative/ complementary medicine is sought precisely because people are not happy with biomedical responses to their situation or considers it more harmful and less effective - depending on the situations - than other approaches to their health problems. And this is not based on 'beliefs', but on their actual experiences.
Herbal medicine has been accepted as a component of global health. The current investment going into research and development of herbal products is unprecedented. It is very sad to note that in country like Nigeria where over 80% of her population relies on herbs for daily health needs, only few of such herbs have been validated using research. In a recent study conducted in Ibadan, it was discovered that of the herbal products evaluated, only about 20% of the products were validated using clinical trial. In spite of this, over 80% of the manufacturers made various treatment claims.
Lumber-puncture has always been a dreadful thing in our hospitals at least the ones I have heard about in Zambia among other surgery operations.
Despite Medical doctors pacifying and educating that it is very safe to undergo such an operation, A lot of patients end up dying according to a number of informants although there is no empirical evidence or studies to refute this myth according to some health workers.
Whoever, their philosophy (medical doctors) behind this is to isolate the disease attacking a patient so that they (doctors) could administer a correct drug than
Some factors that might be attributed to too much medicine may include the following:
Some Lab. Technicians and to a lesser extent pharmacists prescribe drugs for their friends, colleagues and relatives on request outside patientclerking;
In my work on cancer policy in Abia State of Nigeria, I find that policymakers rely more on local evidence. They are more inclined to reviewing evidence about 'here and now', rather than 'over there'. The case of systematic reviews becomes more important when considering potential policy options.
The truth is that many institutions in Nigeria, particularly the public ones, do not have vast resources and their library users wholly rely on HINARI for access to publications.
There is a need to improve the availability and use of information for prescribers, dispensers and users of medicines in LMICs especially the north-eastern part of Nigeria in particular Adamawa State, because most of them continue to prescribe drugs that were use in the 90's. Example is a senior doctor at Adamawa State University clinic who most a times prescribe drugs that causes complications in patients after taking the prescribed drugs; I was once his victim.
We reside in a country where policies are not based on emperical, long time scientific evidence. Data where available may not be credible as many people involved in the collection of such data may not even understand the implication of poor quality data.
What can we really do to enlighten patients that go to medicine stores to buy drugs? most of those in the drug stores are not trained pharmicists, Adamawa State in particular.
One of the key findings from my current PhD research on the Thailand-Myanmar border is that CHWs are alienated by the use of English language training materials.