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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions of HIV/AIDS among Traditional Birth Attendants and Herbal Practitioners in Lagos State, Nigeria
Author:Omowunmi, AhmedISNI
Periodical:African Journal of AIDS Research
Geographic term:Nigeria
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Labor and Employment
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2989/16085900409490334
Abstract:Recognizing the widespread role of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and herbal practitioners (HPs) in health care at community level in Nigeria, the authors assess their knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to HIV infection and prevention. Questionnaires were administered to 189 participants in 20 local government areas of Lagos State. The autors found that knowledge of modes of transmission of HIV was less than adequate and included lack of knowledge of the existence of HIV/AIDS amongst some practitioners, claims for the ability to treat HIV/AIDS, failure to name major avenues of transmission and confusion of HIV/AIDS with other conditions. The use of measures to prevent infection of clients and themselves showed that normal standards of infection control are not adhered to. Considering that as many as 60 percent of children born in Nigeria are delivered by TBAs and that use of the services of HPs extends across the entire society in both rural and urban settings, this is seen as reason for concern. It is suggested that better incorporation of TBAs/HPs into the well-developed primary health care system offers not only a way of overcoming the risks of infection posed by traditional health practices but also offers an opportunity to extend the reach of voluntary counselling and testing and prevention of mother-to-child infection programmes. The research shows the need for appropriate training of TBAs, to enable them to recognize the risk of HIV infection in their own practices and to encourage them to adopt universal precautions against spreading infection. The authors suggest that referrals made between traditional practitioners and professional health care providers can be an effective and successful element of HIV/AIDS prevention and control programmes. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]