DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SHARING PRACTICES AMONG TRADO-MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS IN IJEBU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE, NIGERIA
Indigenous knowledge sharing practice is a common practice among the elderly in rural communities in Nigeria. The rate at which western education is dominating the world portends that indigenous knowledge would fade if better ways to disseminate and preserve it is not devised. Its preservation and dissemination is largely dependent on whether young generation has the heritage of preserving indigenous knowledge at heart. Hence, the study examined demographic characteristics and indigenous knowledge sharing practices among trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North Local Government Areas of Ogun State.
The survey research design was used for the study. The study population was made up of three hundred and fifty-nine Trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North Local Government Area in Ogun State. Total enumeration was employed to include the entire population of the study group. The instrument for data collection was self-structured questionnaire. The Cronbach’s Alpha used to test reliability coefficient for indigenous knowledge practice was 0.90, the demographic characteristics of trado-medical practitioners was 0.74 and indigenous knowledge was 0.86 and overall coefficient was 0.90. Data were analyzed using descriptive, linear regression and multiple regression analyses.
Finding showed that marital status (85.2% ), sex (59.0%) and age (55.8%) with 43yrs above were the major demographic characteristics that enhance knowledge sharing practices among trado-medical practitioners. Nature observation (87.1%), training and apprentice (85.5%), brainstorming (84.8%), community of practice (82.6%) and discussion (71.9%) were mostly used by trado-medical practitioners for adequate knowledge sharing practices. Also, indigenous knowledge practice can be promoted through many social and formal Media (73.2%). Some of the major challenges encountered by trado-medical practitioners while sharing indigenous knowledge include the fact that the young generation of today do not consider the heritage of preserving indigenous knowledge as a priority (73.2%), the idea of traditionalizing all the status and images 75.2%, differentiating indigenous knowledge from others and (57.7%) showed lack of interest among young generation to preserve the knowledge due to the wide acceptance of western education.
The study concluded that demographic factors enhances indigenous knowledge sharing among trado-medical practitioners and found that marital status, sex and age were factors that enhanced trado-medical practitioners ability to share knowledge with ease, while the most prevailing challenge against the spread of indigenous knowledge is the attitude of young generation towards preserving and disseminating the knowledge. Based on the observed challenge, the researcher recommends that preservation of indigenous knowledge should be intensified by trado-medical practitioners among the young generation, government should increase the supervision and quality control of herbal drugs distribution around the Nigeria and establish support team to enable trado-medical practitioner’s function and help the society.
Keywords: Demographic Characteristics, Indigenous Knowledge, Knowledge Sharing Practice, Trado-medical Practitioner, and Ijebu North Local Government