Use of Un-Prescribed Drugs and Traditional Medications among Pregnant Women Attending Primary Health Centres in Kano, Nigeria

Download Article

DOI: 10.21522/TIJNR.2015.06.02.Art001

Authors : Gambo I. M, Haddad M. M, Dalhatu A, Muhammad A G, Ashiru M, Sani D K, Saudat S


The use and misuse of drugs in Sub Saharan region are of public health concern. Exposures to un-prescribed drugs and traditional medications are frequent and create a great danger in pregnant women. The use of herbal medicines has been on the increase in many developing and industrialized countries. The study examined the use of traditional medications and un-prescribed orthodox medicines for gestational mothers. A descriptive cross-sectional design & inferential statistic were employed for the study and a total sample of one hundred and ninety-six was used. A standardized data collection form was employed based on the World Health Organization criteria and the obtained data were analyzed using SPSS Version 22.The result showed that most of the respondents were between the age of 22- 27 years with the mean age of 24 years and majority of the respondents (63.3%) used both un-prescribed drugs and traditional medicines during pregnancy, while 27.0% used only un-prescribed drugs and 9.7% use only traditional medications. More so, the results revealed that pain killers’ drug were the leading cause for misused. Also, the results demonstrated a significant relationship between respondent’s awareness of harm associated with use of un-prescribed medications and educational status, (P < 0.01). The study concluded a wide spread use of un-prescribed drugs and traditional medications among pregnant women and therefore, recommend the need for health education and massive campaign with community involvement against the wrong practices by both the healthcare practioners and the government.


[1] Abubakar, A. B and LalefAlhadri, A. Y (2017). Seeking access to health information: the dilemma of woman community in Rural Malaysia. The Journal of Nigerian Medical Practitioners Vol. 54.No. 4. (56- 62).

[2] Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. WHO Model Accessed on 27th April, 2010. Drugs in pregnancy and Breastfeeding Accessed on 25th April, 2010.

[3] Bagshave, A.F. Mama G. Mingola E.U (2018). The use and Abuse of Drugs and Chemical in Tropica Africa. The Pharmaceutical Journal 2018: 102:70-82.

[4] Ajzen, I. (2015). From Intentions to actions: A theory of Planned Behavior. In J. Kuhl& J. Beckmann (Eds.), Action control: From cognition to behaviour. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer-Verlag.

[5] Adamu M, Salihu H. M (2012). Barriers to the use of antenatal and obstetric care services in rural Kano Nigerian.J. obstet, Gynecol. 22 (6) 600 – 3.

[6] Alaba O. A, Alaba O. B, (2017). Malaria in rural Nigeria: Implications for the Millennium Development Goals. Africa Development Review 2017, 21 73 – 85.

[7] Cadanio, B. Replace Misinformation with facts about Herbal Medication: Patient Care, 2010; 9:64-87.

[8] Canova, E.A. Herbal Agents and over-the-counter Medications in Pregnancy. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Endocrinol Metab – 2013; 17(2): 237-51.

[9] Erinosho, O.A. (2010). Healthcare and Healthcare Services in Nigeria. Africa Development Foundation, Washington, pp: 1-25.

[10] Ewhrudjakpor, C. (2018). Cultural factors blocking the utilization of orthodox medicine: A case study of Warri Area in Delta State of Nigeria. Rev. Sociol., 14(1) 103 – 119.

[11] Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) (2011). Saving newborns lives in Nigeria: Newborn Health in the context of the integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Strategy, by Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, 2011.

[12] Fakeye, T.O. Adisa R, Musa I.E. Attiude and use of Herbal Medicines among Pregnant Women in Nigeria. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013; 9:53.

[13] Feyisetan B. J (2011). The need to investigate disease – specific and other health related cultural beliefs in child mortality studies. Proceedings of the international seminar on Morbidity, Mortality and Social Policy: A focus on the young and the elderly, held in Bello Horizone, Brazil, December 13 – 15.

[14] Feyisetan, B. J (2010). Issues in an examination of the relationship between maternal education and child mortality. IDRC: Proceeding of a workshop held in Accra on Research issues in Child Health and Child care.

[15] Foster, S. (2011). Treatment of malaria outside the formal health services. Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 98(1), 29-34.

[16] Garro, L. (2012). On the rationality of decision-making studies: Part 1: Decision models of treatment choice. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 12(3):319-340.

[17] Gilliland M. J, Phillips M. M, Raczynski J. M, Smith D. E, Cornell C. E, Bithner V (2011). Health care seeking behaviors (in J. M Raczynski& R. J Diclemente, eds. 2011: Handbook of health promotion and academic/plenum disease prevention). New York: kluwer 99 – 1122.

[18] Greenwood, B.G. (2012). Cold or Spirits? Ambiguity and syncretism in Moroccan therapeutics in the social basis of Health and Healing in Africa. (Feierman, S. & Janzen, J.M., eds.). Berkeley: University of California Press.

[19] Idehen, C. O., (2017). Insight into Benin traditional methods of Disease Prevention. Cited in The Journal of Pan African Studies, Vol no 8, June 2017. P 188.

[20] Iyalomhe, G.B.S. (2011). The practice of traditional African medicine in Nigeria. J. Afric. Traditions Development, 1(2), 81-93.

[21] Levine, Robert A., Sarah E Levine and Beatrice Schnell (2011). “Improve the women: Mass schooling female literacy and worldwide social change”. Harvard Edu. Rev 71 (1): 1 – 50.

[22] Nash Ojanuga, D. & Gilbert, C. (2014). Women’s access to health care in developing countries. Social Science & Medicine, 35(4):613-617.

[23] Olujimi, J. (2016). Significant factors affecting patronage of health facilities by rural dwellers in Owo Region. Nigeria. Soc. Sci., 1(3), 206-215.

[24] Saleh, A. G and Lasis, F. A (2011). Information needs and information seeking behavior of rural women in Borno state, Nigeria.

[25] Sallah, E. (2011). Traditional medicine in Nigeria today. The Herbal Doctor. J. Afric. Med., 1(2), 32-39. Say, S.E., Thomson, R. (2013). The importance of patient preferences in treatment decisions - challenge for doctors. B. M. J., 327, 542-544.

[26] Igbiks, T., Joseph, A. Fadare., A. Omole-Ohonsi (2011). Use of herbal Medicine among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in tertiary hospitals in Northern Nigeria. Journal of gynecology & obstetrics, 200-220.

 [27] National Bureau of Statistics: Annual abstract of statistics; Federal Republic of Nigeria (2011). 44-45.