Trado-medicineis a scarce science that prolong life, prevents diseases, preserves andrestores health and treat diseases. The study was carried out to investigatethe traditional utilization of fresh-water fish species for trado-medicine andhealth care services among rural households in Ogun State. Specifically, thestudy described demographic characteristics of the respondents, types of fresh-waterfish species used for trado-medicine and health care services, factorsinfluencing the utilization of fresh-water fish species for trado-medicine andhealth care services and the effects on the demographic characteristics.
Amulti-stage sampling technique was employed to draw the sample for the survey. TwoLocal Government Areas were purposively selected for the study and fivecommunities were selected from the selected Local Government Areas, while 16respondents were purposively selected from each of the selected community.Thus, a total of 80 respondents were selected and interviewed for the study.
The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics,Relative Importance Index (RII) and Chi-square analyses. Findings from thestudy show the demographic characteristics of the respondents. Themean age of the respondents was 49 years and the modal class is above 50 years.Most of the respondents are male, married with low educational qualification, 45.00percent engaged in herbal trading and 23.
75 percent engaged in fish farming astheir primary occupation. Most of them have more than 23 years of fishtrado-medicine experience and they belongs to one or more social association while88.75 percent of them are aware of the utilization of fresh-water fish for trado-medicineand health care services.Thecommon fresh-water fish species used for trado-medicine are Clarias,Malapterurus electricus,Barilius niloticus, Gymnachus,Tetraodan fahaka,Heterobranchus bidorsalis,Hepsetus, tilapia, mormyrus, Calamoichthys calabaricus(Eel fish), Polypterus, Chrysichithys nigrodigitatus.However, the factors found to influence the utilization of fresh-water fishspecies for trado-medicine are; potency and effectiveness of fish medicinecompare to orthodox medicine (0.98), its benefit to pregnant women (0.97), costeffectiveness (0.
93), benefit to children’s health especially at infant stage(0.92), use for blessing new couple during wedding ceremony (0.92), use as agift to a new born baby or new bride (0.85), some beliefs that it doesn’t haveside effect on their health (0.78), it use to appease to the gods or use forsacrifice (0.78), the taste is favourable compare to other traditional medicines(0.77).
The most common methods ofadministering these fish medicine are herbal porridge (aseje), herbal bathmixture with local soap, skin incision (gbere), and lotion form to be rubbed onthe skin. However, freshwater fish species are utilizes for fish medicine andhealth care services among rural households in the study area.Therefore the study recommends thatGovernment and NGOs through the ministry of health, should recognize, supportand fund research for in-depth studies on the manufacture of fresh-water fishmedicine, favourable policy should be introduce and implemented forpopularization of fish medicine, information needed regarding market access,fish processing, storage and packaging could be made available through the extensionpersonnel, television and radio for wider coverage and also the fees or charges for NAFDAC registration should be subsidies by thegovernment.