Current Research in Interdisciplinary Studies


Prevalence And Factors Associated With Use Of Herbal Medicine Among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic At Lira Regional Referral Hospital

  • By Opiyo Jimmy, Otim Raymond - 05 Dec 2022
  • Current Research in Interdisciplinary Studies, Volume: 1, Issue: 4, Pages: 45 - 61
  • Received: 23.11.2022; Accepted: 29.11.2022; Online First: 5.12.2022


Use of herbal medicines (HMs) is increasing. There is widespread use of HMs; 88% globally, 80% in sub-Saharan Africa and 70.4% in Uganda with 20% prevalence among pregnant women in N. Uganda (Nyeko et al., 2016). Some HMs are harmful, their safety profiles are not known and some of them affect the mothers, fetus and pregnancy outcomes. Routine health education conducted in ANC on the dangers of HMs but some women believe it is their culture to use HMs that they are safe. Data about use of HMs in the study area is unknown. It might be an indicator to poor access to health facility delivery, low ANC visit. This also leads to poor maternal and fetal outcome. Aims: To determine prevalence and factors associated with the use of HMs among pregnant women attending Antenatal clinic (ANC) in Lira Regional Referral Hospital (LRRH) Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study which involved 179 pregnant women attending ANC in LRRH using quantitative method of data collection. A structured questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data. The selection of study participants was by convenience sampling. Quantitative data was coded, entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 23 Results: The prevalence of use of HMs among the participants was 42% (75/179). The factors associated with use of HMs during pregnancy included believe that HMs are effective and safe, their culture supports use of HMs (P=0.004) easy to access free from farm land, relative or herbalists (P<0.001) and dissatisfaction at different health facilities (P<0.001) Conclusions: The prevalence of use of HMs during pregnancy among pregnant women attending ANC in LRRH was common which may be an indicator for poor access to conventional western health care. This therefore calls for community sensitization drives on the dangers of indiscriminate use of HMs in pregnancy, as well as integration of trained traditional herbalists and all those community persons who influence the process in addressing the varied health needs of pregnant women.

Keywords: Herbal medicines, pregnancy, maternal mortality, maternal health service