Traditional medicine practices among community members with diabetes mellitus in Northern Tanzania: an ethnomedical survey.

Abstract

Diabetes is a growing burden in sub-Saharan Africa where traditional medicines (TMs) remain a primary form of healthcare in many settings. In Tanzania, TMs are frequently used to treat non-communicable diseases, yet little is known about TM practices for non-communicable diseases like diabetes.Between December 2013 and June 2014, we assessed TM practices, including types, frequencies, reasons, and modes, among randomly selected community members. To further characterize TMs relevant for the local treatment of diabetes, we also conducted focus groups and semi-structured interviews with key informants.We enrolled 481 adults of whom 45 (9.4 %) had diabetes. The prevalence of TM use among individuals with diabetes was 77.1 % (95 % CI 58.5-89.0 %), and the prevalence of using TMs and biomedicines concurrently was 37.6 % (95 % CI 20.5-58.4 %). Many were using TMs specifically to treat diabetes (40.3 %; 95 % CI 20.5-63.9), and individuals with diabetes reported seeking healthcare from traditional healers, elders, family, friends, and herbal vendors. We identified several plant-based TMs used toward diabetes care: Moringa oleifera, Cymbopogon citrullus, Hagenia abyssinica, Aloe vera, Clausena anisata, Cajanus cajan, Artimisia afra, and Persea americana.TMs were commonly used for diabetes care in northern Tanzania. Individuals with diabetes sought healthcare advice from many sources, and several individuals used TMs and biomedicines together. The TMs commonly used by individuals with diabetes in northern Tanzania have a wide range of effects, and understanding them will more effectively shape biomedical practitices and public health policies that are patient-centered and sensitive to TM preferences.

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Journal article

Department

Description

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Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1186/s12906-016-1262-2

Publication Info

Lunyera, Joseph, Daphne Wang, Venance Maro, Francis Karia, David Boyd, Justin Omolo, Uptal D Patel, John W Stanifer, et al. (2016). Traditional medicine practices among community members with diabetes mellitus in Northern Tanzania: an ethnomedical survey. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 16(1). p. 282. 10.1186/s12906-016-1262-2 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18546.

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Scholars@Duke

Boyd

David Lorenzo Boyd

Hymowitz Family Professor of the Practice Emeritus in Global Health
Patel

Uptal Dinesh Patel

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 progression of chronic kidney disease by improving its detection and management, particularly by leveraging technology to facilitate engagement and self-management; ii) elucidating the inter-relationships between kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, which together amplify the risk of death; iii) improving the evidence in nephrology through comparative effectiveness research, including clinical trials, observational studies, and meta-analyses; and iv) promoting more optimal clinical health policy for all patients with kidney disease. These inter-disciplinary projects have been funded by a variety of public and private sources including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Renal Physicians Association, and the American Society of Nephrology. 

Current efforts seek to advance novel therapies for kidney diseases through early clinical development that he leads at AstraZeneca.


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