Traditional health care is the oldest known method of healing the sick. It was
the sole medical system for health care before the advent of orthodox
medicine. Even in this present technological era, traditional health care is still
the predominant means in the third world for the preservation of health of the
rural majority who constitute over 70% of the total population. It is against
this background, that this study examined the socio-economic factors and
attitude of people in rural areas towards herbal medicine in Oro town of
Irepodun local government area, Kwara State. The survey design was
employed in the study. The study’s primary data were generated through
questionnaire administered by the researcher, while the secondary data were
sourced from textbooks and journal articles. The sample sizes of 120 people
were drawn through purposive sampling technique from Oro town. The major
research hypothesis tested revolved around the extent to which socioeconomic variables have significant bearing on traditional health care. The
structural-functional and rational action theories were used as explanatory
models in this study. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse respondents’
demographic data and measurable variables, while Chi-square was used to
test the hypotheses. The major findings of this study include:
(i) There is no relationship between religious belief and attitude towards
traditional health care in the study area;
(ii) There is a significant relationship between educational level and attitude
towards traditional health care
(iii) There is no relationship between occupation and attitude towards
traditional health care.
Based on the above, it is recommended that there is a need for urgent
investment and support of traditional healers and traditional health care not
only by government, but also by civil society and the private sector. In
addition, more resources and infrastructure need to be committed to test and
promote the use of safe and efficacious traditional medicines, as well as to
regulate the traditional healing profession. Besides, there is a need for a
campaign that raises awareness of the rights of patients to adequate care,
treatment and support by traditional healers.