Management of indigenous knowledge in primary healthcare: Bridging the gap between library and alternative healthcare practitioner in Nigeria

EBIJUWA, Adefunke S. (2015) Management of indigenous knowledge in primary healthcare: Bridging the gap between library and alternative healthcare practitioner in Nigeria. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 168 - Indigenous Matters SIG.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1145
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Management of indigenous knowledge in primary healthcare: Bridging the gap between library and alternative healthcare practitioner in Nigeria

The place of the alternative healthcare practitioners in traditional medical practice and the primary healthcare delivery system in most societies is not in doubt. In Africa and especially in Nigeria, there appears to be an increasing evidence of loss of indigenous knowledge associated with primary healthcare delivery due to lack of proper documentation. Existing literature have largely concentrated on contemporary healthcare system and practice without recourse on the valuable aspect of the traditional administration of medicinal plants being practiced by the practitioners of alternative healthcare. The study, therefore surveyed some of the existing practices and management of the indigenous knowledge with a view to establishing the relationship that exists between the library and information managers and the alternative healthcare practitioners. This is with the aim of closing the gap that exists between the two professions. The descriptive survey research design was adopted, with the combination of purposive, stratified, quota and simple random sampling technique being used to select the respondents. Data were analyzed using percentages and bar charts. The study reveals that alternative health practitioners document their indigenous knowledge through the forms of writing in books and audio recording; organisation of IK was done in archives and prints while the commonest methods of preservation of indigenous knowledge used was storytelling. The study has shown the militating factors against the proper management of indigenous knowledge to include low level of record keeping, lack of basic equipment and legal protection. Also, the study discovered the gaps to include traditional means of managing IK, illiteracy and reluctance to share IK by the alternative health practitioners. Therefore, the library and information managers need to close the gap by encouraging close collaboration with the alternative health practitioners, in addition to training them on the systematic management of indigenous knowledge. The study recommends that libraries should look beyond collection development and show the need for a service that is more relevant to the indigenous communities.

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