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Community-Based Medicines on the Likelihood of Families in Naga City

Carlos D. Achondo Jr* and Amante T. Ama Camarines Sur National High School Peafrancia Avenue, Naga City, Philippines *Corresponding Author:

Abstract: Limited information exists on how families decide to use the

community-based medicines or the herbal plants. There are also no instruments specific to community-based medicines, for the families population, which make it difficult to explore knowledge in this area. The purpose of this study was to develop and examine the community-based medicine questionnaire for mothers which measures their families attitude about herbal medicines. Participants for this cross -sectional survey were mothers coming from different barangays in the city and was randomly selected from the Naga City Hospital. The said respondents revealed that they had a positive attitude or had a higher likability to the use of herbal medicines if they already used it for preventing illness and for treating illness. Respondents showed a negative attitude or low likability to the use of herbal medicines if they never used herbal medicines. The implication that prevention and treating may play a role in families attitude about herbal medicines is a potential factor for future research.

Keywords: Community-based medicines, herbal medicines, Naga City Hospital,

community-based medicine questionnaire, likability, attitude



The needs and demands of people on various things have well been undiminished. The increasing value of products and services that publics use lead to alternatives where the community will pay less yet quality merchandises and amenities are still upheld. Here enters the concept of alternative or community based medicines which is one of the essentials for living. The concrete example for alternative medicines are the herbal medicines. Herbal medicine is a scientifically recognized complementary and alternative treatment method with proven efficacy. In North America, herbal remedies are considered dietary supplements by law and are considered safe unless proven otherwise. [1] Traditional healing methods (THM) have been used by Africans for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of social, mental and physical ailment of different origins before and even after the advent of conventional medicine (WHO, 2004). THM is accessible to more than 80% of the African population and in many African countries seemingly represents an important pillar of epilepsy treatment (WHO, 2004). [2] The use of medicinal plants or herbs has been gaining popularity this past few years in the Philippines and worldwide as more clinical proof emerges that validates many of the age-old alternative medicines used by Filipino folks that has been passed on. The curative effects of the herbs were tested by traditional healers on their patient. [3] Conversely, because information on the use of plant species for therapeutic purpose has been passed from one generation to the next through oral tradition, this knowledge of therapeutic plants has started to decline and become obsolete through the lack of recognition by younger generations as a result of a shift in attitude and ongoing socio-economic changes. [4,5] Furthermore, the indigenous knowledge on the use of lesser known medicinal plants is also rapidly declining. Through the realization of the continuous erosion in the traditional knowledge of many valuable plants for

medicine in the past and the renewal interest, currently, the need existed to review the valuable knowledge with the expectation of developing the medicinal plant sectors. [6] The study is not intended to measure outcomes of community-based medicines rather it is designed to know the attitudes about community-based medicines among families. Accurately capturing attitudes about community-based medicines will provide a better estimate of the likelihood to alternative medicines. This will, in turn, help to inform health care professionals about the level of demand of community-based medicines in the family population; information that is currently not known.


Materials and Methods

2.1 Design and Sample Participants for this cross-sectional survey were mothers coming from different barangays in the city and were selected randomly at the Naga City Hospital. Thirty questionnaires were given (30) but only twenty-eight (n=28) mothers responded. Each survey question was divided into three parts namely: Information about the mother, Community-based medicine or herbal medicine that your family had used or still using, and beliefs about herbal medicines. 2.2 Measures Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with items on a 5 point Likert scale ranging from 1= strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree. During the development phase of the questionnaire the content of the questionnaire was translated to the mother tongue language to have a clear questions and for the respondents to have a good comprehension about a certain questions in the survey form. Attached to questionnaire was a background information sheet asking respondents for information about their age, education, cultural and religious traditions, general health and their use of herbal medicines. 2.3 Statistical Analysis Responses to each survey item on the questionnaire were examined. Chi-square analysis was used to solve for the responses on the Likert scale.


Results and Discussion

3.1 Respondent Characteristics Most of the age of the mothers belong to the bracket 16-25, with the mean age of 40 years old. (Table 1) Majority of the respondents used herbal medicines for both preventing and treating illness (32%) and a very small percentage of the respondents did not use herbal medicines (7%). (Table 2) The most frequently used herbal medicine was Lagundi and Ampalaya. (Table 3) Table 1. Respondent Characteristics Age (years) Frequency 66-35 3 56-65 2 46-55 6 36-45 5 26-35 5 16-25 7 Table 2. Use of herbal medicines Use Herbal Medicines n % For Preventing Illness 9 32 Treating Illness 9 32 Promoting Health 8 29

Never Used 2 7 Table 3. Herbal Medicine used* Rank Herbal Total Medicine 1 Lagundi 20 2 Ampalaya 16 3 Bawang 15 4 Bayabas/Guava 7 5 Niyug-niyugan 4 6 Sambong 3 7 Tsaang Gubat 2 8 Akapulko 1 9 Ulasimang 0 Bato *note that respondents were able to endorse more than one response option 3.2 Community-Based Medicine Questionnaire Respondents attitude toward the use of herbal medicines were first determined by computing a total score on the 7-item questionnaire. The mean total score was 27.3 out of a possible 35. To examine the association of the Community-based medicine questionnaire score with the respondents demographic characteristics the total score was dichotomized at the median (28). [7] Scores in the range of 0-28 were defined as negative attitude and low likelihood to herbal medicines, whereas scores between 29-35 were defined as positive attitude and higher likelihood to use of herbal medicines. Respondents demonstrated a higher likelihood to use of herbal medicines if they used herbal medicines for preventing illness (Chi-square=94.12) or used herbal medicines in treating illness (Chisquare=). They demonstrated a lower likelihood to use herbal medicines if they had never used herbal medicines (Chi-square=23.53). 4. Conclusion The attitude of families on the use of herbal medicines can be addressed whether they used herbal medicines in the past and continuous use it or if they never used herbal medicines. The likelihood of the respondents on the survey showed that people are more likely to use herbal medicines if they already have their past knowledge and know the effects on the usage of herbal medicines as health care of them was concerned. Respondents that showed a lower likelihood or a negative attitude on the possibility of using herbal medicines if they do not know any about the herbal medicines or if they did not use any of the herbal medicines present in treating, preventing or promoting their health care status. 5. References [1] Kraft, Karin M.D, Hobbs, Christopher Lac. Pocket Guide to Herbal Medicine. Thieme Stuttgart-New York. 2004 [2] Winkler et al., Afr. J. Trad. CAM (2010) 7 (2): 162 170 [3] Bayalan, Hannah Khamille,, Herbal Medicine for Alternative Medicine, De La Salle University-Dasmarias, Cavite. March 2008. [4] C. P. Kala, Current status of medicinal plants used by traditional Vaidyas in Uttaranchal state in India, Ethnobotany Research and Applications, vol. 3, (2005), pp. 267-278. [5] N. A. Farooque, B. S. Majila and C. P. Kala, Indigenous knowledge systems and sustainable management of natural resources in a high altitude society in Kumaun, Himalaya, India, Journal of Human Ecology, vol. 16, (2004), pp. 33-42. [6] C. P. Kala, P. P. Dhyani and B. S. Sajwan, Developing the medicinal plants sector in Northern India: challenges and opportunities, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, vol. 2, (2006), pp. 32.

[7] Patterson, Christine, Arthur, Heather. A Complementary Alternative Medicine Questionnaire for Young Adults. 2009. p.4