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Revealing the popularity of traditional medicine in light of multiple recourses and outcome measurements from a user’s perspective: a study from two regions in Ghana

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Traditional medicines (TM) are known to be popular in sub-Saharan Africa, where over 80% have reported its utilisation. It is claimed to be easily accessible, affordable, available and acceptable, but little is known about at which stage of treatment seeking individuals turn to traditional medicines. This is owing to a paucity in quantitative demand data on how many recourses of care people take for one episode of illness, whether individuals use traditional medicines as a secondary option to orthodox medicines, and if used, how satisfied they are with results. This study presents descriptive data from fieldwork carried out on 772 households in two regions of Ghana to ascertain actions taken for self reported episodes of acute and previously diagnosed chronic diseases. Quantitative results show by looking merely at first recourse, use of traditional medicines is fairly low, but once second recourses are accounted for there is a doubling and tripling of incidence of TM use for acute and chronic diseases respectively. A commonly used patient reported outcome measurement, the EQ5D, is adopted to measure satisfaction before and after traditional medicine use, to reveal significantly positive changes. The study suggests that whilst these results show individuals to be highly satisfied with TM, it is more often the second recourse of treatment with a revealed preference for orthodox medicines as a first recourse. This suggests that policy must investigate why individuals turn to TM only as a second recourse and clarify the insufficiencies of orthodox treatment. Policies which guide individuals to taking the most efficient recourses for given symptoms and further exploration of key reasons behind high levels of satisfaction following utilization are encouraged.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/40029/1/Revealing_the_popularity_of_traditional_medicine_in_light_of_multiple_recourses_and_outcome_measurements_from_a_user%E2%80%99s_perspective%28lsero%29.pdf

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