ASSESSMENT OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS AND THE UTILIZATION OF TRADITIONAL HERBS IN THE TREATMENT OF MALARIA AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN IN ABONNEMA OF RIVER STATE
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1.1 Background of the study
Information on health seeking behaviour and health care utilization has important policy implications in health systems development. Factors which influence which treatment sources people seek when symptoms occur include socio-economic status, socio-cultural factors like beliefs and household decision making to seek care, social networks and gender (Okojie, 2015).
A herbal remedy is thus one in which the main therapeutic activity depends on plant or fungi. The pharmacopeia contains at least 25% of drugs derived from herbs and many others which are synthetic analogies built on prototype compounds isolated form plants (Arvigo and Balik, 2014). Plant product use covers some important therapeutic categories namely antimalarial, anticancer, antimicrobials, contraceptives, muscle relaxants, purgatives, hematinics, steroids and anesthesia. Advertisement in the mass media in Nigeria is a channel that TM providers often use to propagate spurious claims of “one product cures all”. It is believed that many modern medical practices like physiotherapy have their origin in traditional medical practices. The psychosomatic method of healing mental disorders used primarily by psychiatrics today is based loosely on ancient traditional medical practice (Sunshine, 2016). To date, TM continues to give birth to modern medicines and medical practices. For instance a tincture of beach morning glory, Ipomoea pescaprace (convolvulcene) is now certified as an anti inflammatory treatment (Lewington, 2013).