Alternative & Integrative Medicine

ISSN: 2327-5162

Open Access

Traditional Methods of Protecting the Infant and Child Illness/Disease Among the Wazigua at Mvomero Ward, Morogoro, Region, Tanzania


Edmund J. Kayombo

Background: Even though child and infant protection against health problems using various methods is as old as mankind, there is limited literature on traditional methods used to protect infant and child in Tanzania. Objective: To collect and critical analyze traditional methods used to protect child and infant against health problems in rural settings. Methods and materials: Qualitative methods for sampling and data collection on both traditional and conventional methods for protecting child and infant against health problems were used. Results: A total of 203 children of whom 48.3% were females were observed when medical students were assessing infant/children nutritional status. Besides the children a total of 20 women aged 20-48 years; and five traditional health practitioners (THPs) who were purposeful sampled were interviewed. The findings showed two methods were used; and these were traditional/indigenous and conventional methods. The used traditional methods included oral and bathing remedies, abstaining when mother was breast feeding, use of “hirizi” (amulet) for illness believed to be caused by personalistic factors, and herbs for “degedge” (convulsion) and other infant illnesses. Whereas on conventional methods were child growth monitoring; and vaccination against killer diseases to infants and children. The two different methods (traditional and conventional methods) used for protection of the child were not competing; but complemented each other on health care. Conclusion: Parents/guardians and (THPs) were aware some health problems affecting infants and children could be protected by conventional medicine and some needed use of traditional remedies. The problem is hygiene of traditional remedies and proper dosage to infants and children. There is a need to examine critical the used herbal remedies on healthcare in laboratories. These herbal remedies might have some curative elements on health problems currently cannot be treated by conventional medicine.


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