Assessment of adherence to minimum standards of practice by traditional health practitioners in Jinja District, Uganda
Ojwang, Felicitas Akoth
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Background: Traditional medicine is widely used in Uganda, because it is believed to be more affordable, acceptable and accessible, compared to conventional services. To investigate adherence of traditional Health Practitioners to Minimum Standard of Practice in the provision of Health care in Jinja District. Methods: The study was carried out in Jinja District in 2009. The study population consisted of Traditional Health Practitioners operating in Jinja District and registered with the Jinja Branch of the Uganda THA, qualitative and quantitative research methods were used for data collection. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect data from 168 respondents. Observation checklists and key informant guides were also used to collect data. Data were analysed using SPSS 16.0. Qualitative data were analysed using the master sheet technique. Results: All respondents ware aged 48.6±15.2 years on average. Slightly over half (54.8%) of the respondents were male, 39.3% had never been to school, 65.7% of them were married, generally rural-based (60.7%) and 33.7% belonging to the Anglican faith. Among the married respondents, 48.0% of them were in polygamous marriages. This study recruited 91/168 (54.2%) Herbalists, 45/168 (26.8%) TBAs and 32/168 (19.0%) Bone setters. Knowledge of at least three Minimum standards of Practice among herbalists, TBAs and bone settlers was 74.7%, 77.8% and 50.0% respectively. Adherence to at least three MSOP among herbalists, TBAs and bone settlers was 46.2%, 31.1% and 25.0%. Conclusion and Recommendation: Most (70.8%) of the respondents were knowledgeable about the set MSOP, however, only 38.1% of them were adherent to these set standards. Poverty and low literacy level were mentioned as the major challenges. The researcher recommends that increased awareness sessions, supervision and inspection of the work of traditional Health Practitioners should be conducted in Jinja district.