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1.  Traditional Medicine as an Alternative Form of Health Care System: A Preliminary Case Study of Nangabo Sub-County, Central Uganda 
This study was conducted in Nangabo sub-county of Wakiso district. The purpose was to document the common Traditional Medicine (TM) practices; assess the local people's preferences for TM versus western medicine (WM) and lastly to determine the awareness about the importance of TM by local people. Data were collected using semi-structured administered face-to-face with respondents. A total of 120 interviewed. Six focused group discussions (FGDs) were held to validate the questionnaire responses. Data were analyzed descriptively using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings indicated that most (43%) respondents derive their livelihoods from traditional medicine practices. Three forms of TM were reported-herbalism (67%), spiritual counseling (23%) and bone setting (10%). Although the majority (81%) of respondents were quite aware of the importance of TM in the sustenance of health care system, majority (55%) of them shunned TM in preference to WM, largely because of the belief that TM is evil-founded and devilish in nature. Only 45% of the respondents preferred TM to WM. The main reasons given for visiting TM practioners rather than western medical practitioners were that TM is sometimes more effective than WM and that in many instances it has very minimal side effects on the human body. There is, however, a need for Ugandan government to legitimize the practice of TM since it contributes a lot to health care needs in areas where western medicine is insufficiently provided. In addition, there is a need for further research into the efficacy and safety of traditional medicines if it is to be adequately integrated into western medicine.
PMCID: PMC3005386  PMID: 21304607
Traditional medicine; health care; herbalism; spiritual counseling; bone setting; Uganda
2.  Market Survey of Mondia Whytei (Mulondo) Roots in Kampala City, Uganda 
This study explored the consumers' and vendors' perceptions about Mondia whitei roots, in Kampala city, Uganda; determined the marketing margins and the market flow of the roots in the city; documented demand and supply opportunities as well as challenges to marketing of the roots by the vendors. Seventy vendors and 70 consumers of the roots were administered with semi-structured questionnaires. Results showed that M. whytei roots are largely perceived as sexual stimulant, appetiser, flavours for food and drinks, and stimulant for milk production in lactating mothers. Majority of the vendors (74%) and consumers (85%) perceived the trade in the roots as worthwhile. Men and adolescent boys were reported to be the main consumers. Retailers who buy the roots directly from collectors and later sell to consumers dominate the trade. The average price charged per piece and a kilogram of roots increases from collectors, middlemen and to the retailers. The average retail price was US $ 0.12 per piece of the root and US $ 1.50 per kg of the roots. Collectors charged the lowest price (US $ 0.06 and US $ 0.60 per piece and a kilogram of the roots respectively) though their profit margins remained the highest (50%). Several demand and supply opportunities exist for M. whytei roots and these included few sexual stimulant accepted alternatives to M. whytei roots in Kampala city; consumers' willingness to pay high prices when the roots are scarce, and a large number of M. whytei roots gatherers that could promote the cultivation of this plant for the market. Challenges, such as seasonal low supply of the roots, and unorganised market structure, hamper the trade in M. whytei roots. There is a need for experimental research on efficacies of the perceived uses of the roots reported in this study. The possibility of value addition to the roots sold should be investigated.
PMCID: PMC2816576  PMID: 20161964
Mondia whytei; Markets; trade; sexual stimulant; medicinal plants; Uganda

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