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Aim: This study was designed to determine the knowledge and utilization of traditional medicine for Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) among residents of Pakuri (St. Cuthbert’s Mission) in Guyana. Since treatment for T2DM is expensive with multiple side effects, it has become necessary to explore the use of plant-base medicine.
Methodology: The study utilized a descriptive cross sectional design. Systematic random sampling procedures were done to identify study population. Prior informed consent from the village council, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and individual participants were sought before the commencement of the study. The study was conducted over a four- week period.
Results: Three hundred and eighteen (318) participants were recruited for the study. The mean (±SD) knowledge score was 85.1 ± 16.8 with 50.9% of the study participants having good knowledge in traditional medicine for diabetes. T2DM affected 40.3% of the study participants; of this population and more than half of the participants used traditional medicine to control their symptoms. Significant association was seen with age, gender, education and marital status among participants using traditional medicine for diabetes.
Conclusion: It is concluded that the use of traditional medicine is becoming increasingly popular and as such, efforts need to be made to revive and coordinate the use of medicinal plants/herbs by the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affair including the native flora of the local ecosystems. In addition, conclusive evidence on the contribution of the traditional medicine on the final outcome of management of T2DM could not be reach since the study was not controlled.
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