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Knowledge and practices of traditional healers towards diabetes mellitus in khartoum state

Author: 
Hala, Hammad Mohammed Zain Ahmed and Mofida, Yousif Elkhalifa
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

The main objectives of this study were to determine the knowledge pertaining to diabetes mellitus of traditional healers in Khartoum State, and to explore some of their practices towards their patient’s advices, treatments, diagnosis, following up and referral systems. The target population of the study consisted of 40 herbalists. The sample was purposive and interviews guided by semi-structured open-ended questionnaires were used. The results obtained indicated that the healers had a primary knowledge about diabetes and had a willingness to learn more about the disease. 90% of the herbalists stated that diabetes is due to disturbances in the pancreas, and the main causes of the disease were diet high in fats and carbohydrates (22.5%), or due to genetical factors (20%). The most two well known symptoms stated by the studied herbalists were frequent urination (87.5%) followed by thirst (67.5%). More than half of the herbalists (55%) believe that diabetes could be completely cured. Concerning the average number of patients, 55% of healers mentioned that more than 10 diabetic patients usually visit the traditional healers’ center per month. For a better monitoring and control of diabetes in Sudan training of traditional healers was urgently needed. Further studies concerning the effectiveness of medicinal plants used for treating diabetes are also needed.

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