Traditional and health practitioners perspective on traditional medicine utilisation during antenatal care in Bulilima, Plumtree, Zimbabwe
Traditional Health System has been reported to be the most accessible, affordable, and acceptable in resource poor settings particularly in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). It is utilised for different health needs including pregnancy management. This study sought to explore traditional and health practitioner's perspective on traditional medicine utilisation during antenatal care in Bulilima District, Plumtree, Zimbabwe. Methods: A qualitative cross-sectional survey was conducted on purposively
... n purposively selected health practitioners and snowballed traditional health practitioners who responded to unstructured interviews. Data was collected using a digital tape recorder, transcribed and thematically analysed on MAXQDA. Results: Findings reported that Eel Fish/Water snake, Donkey Placenta, Elephant Dung, Holy water and Holy tea were common traditional remedies used during pregnancy. Reasons for traditional remedy utilisation were reported to be: protection from witchcraft, chasing of evil spirits, preventing breeching, stabilisation of embryo and shortening of labour period. Health service expressed their scepticism on the safety of traditional medicine utilisation during pregnancy. Conclusion: Women utilise traditional medicines and remedies during pregnancy for different reasons. There are concerns regarding their safety from the health service providers though traditional practitioners do not concur. There is need for investing on research that would ascertain the safety of these traditional medicines in a cohort format as this system has been a cheaper alternative for those who cannot afford or access modern health services.