Traditional medicine practices among community members with chronic kidney disease in northern Tanzania: an ethnomedical survey.
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BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is being recognized as a non-communicable disease (NCD) with high morbidity and mortality. In countries like Tanzania, people access many sources, including traditional medicines, to meet their healthcare needs for NCDs, but little is known about traditional medicine practices among people with CKD. Therefore, we sought to characterize these practices among community members with CKD in northern Tanzania. METHODS: Between December 2013 and June 2014, we administered a previously-developed survey to a random sample of adult community-members from the Kilimanjaro Region; the survey was designed to measure traditional medicine practices such as types, frequencies, reasons, and modes. Participants were also tested for CKD, diabetes, hypertension, and HIV as part of the CKD-AFRiKA study. To identify traditional medicines used in the local treatment of kidney disease, we reviewed the qualitative sessions which had previously been conducted with key informants. RESULTS: We enrolled 481 adults of whom 57 (11.9 %) had CKD. The prevalence of traditional medicine use among adults with CKD was 70.3 % (95 % CI 50.0-84.9 %), and among those at risk for CKD (n = 147; 30.6 %), it was 49.0 % (95 % CI 33.1-65.0 %). Among adults with CKD, the prevalence of concurrent use of traditional medicine and biomedicine was 33.2 % (11.4-65.6 %). Symptomatic ailments (66.7 %; 95 % CI 17.3-54.3), malaria/febrile illnesses (64.0 %; 95 % CI 44.1-79.9), and chronic diseases (49.6 %; 95 % CI 28.6-70.6) were the most prevalent uses for traditional medicines. We identified five plant-based traditional medicines used for the treatment of kidney disease: Aloe vera, Commifora africana, Cymbopogon citrullus, Persea americana, and Zanthoxylum chalybeum. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of traditional medicine use is high among adults with and at risk for CKD in northern Tanzania where they use them for a variety of conditions including other NCDs. Additionally, many of these same people access biomedicine and traditional medicines concurrently. The traditional medicines used for the local treatment of kidney disease have a variety of activities, and people with CKD may be particularly vulnerable to adverse effects. Recognizing these traditional medicine practices will be important in shaping CKD treatment programs and public health policies aimed at addressing CKD.
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Medicine, African Traditional
Renal Insufficiency, Chronic
Surveys and Questionnaires
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1186/s12882-015-0161-y
Publication InfoStanifer, John W; Lunyera, Joseph; Boyd, David; Karia, Francis; Maro, Venance; Omolo, Justin; & Patel, Uptal D (2015). Traditional medicine practices among community members with chronic kidney disease in northern Tanzania: an ethnomedical survey. BMC Nephrol, 16. pp. 170. 10.1186/s12882-015-0161-y. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15878.
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Hymowitz Family Professor of the Practice in Global Health
I am a clinical epidemiologist with a life-long desire is to advance our understanding of etiologic mechanisms of kidney disease, and to advocate for policies that promote the highest quality care for individuals with kidney disease. Specifically, I am interested in delineating mechanisms by which exposures in the social environment perpetuate disparate adverse kidney outcomes such as chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury.
Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine
Uptal Patel, MD is an Adjunct Professor interested in population health with a broad range of clinical and research experience. As an adult and pediatric nephrologist with training in health services and epidemiology, his work seeks to improve population health for patients with kidney diseases through improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Prior efforts focused on four inter-related areas that are essential to improving kidney health: i) reducing the progressi
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine
John W. Stanifer, MD, MSc-GH, is a nephrologist and clinical researcher with a focus on using translational and trans-disciplinary methods to uncover mechanisms of global health disparities in kidney disease. John completed his residency training in internal medicine and global health at Duke, completing the Master of Science in Global Health program in 2014. He also completed his sub-specialty training in nephrology at Duke, and during that time, he also completed a fellowship in c
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