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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-83

Traditional eye medicine use among ophthalmic patients attending a secondary health care center in Southeast Nigeria

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Eberechukwu Ogbeanu Achigbu
Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_5_16

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Introduction: The perceived high cost of eye care services has been implicated as one of the reasons for the use of traditional eye medications (TEMs) in the country. Other factors including distance, tradition, ignorance, and failure of medical treatment among others have also been documented as determinants of TEM use. TEMs constitute a wide range of unorthodox therapies utilized for treatment of ocular disorders. They have been reported to have no beneficial effect rather causing more harm than good. Aim: This study sought to determine the prevalence, types, and ocular indications for TEM use in the study population. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which a structured questionnaire was used to collect relevant data from consecutive patients attending the eye clinic during the study. Results: At a prevalence of 15.8%, the highest use of TEM was noted among artisans, those in the seventh decade of life, with low level of education, ocular complaints of poor vision, and illness of <1 year duration. Its use though high, was not significantly associated with age, sex, education, occupation and illness duration. Roots and herbs were the most common types of TEM used. Conclusion: There was a high prevalence of use of TEM in this study. The deleterious effect of its use is known and has been reported in literature. Education and enlightenment of the public are needed and highly recommended.

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