INDIGENOUS HEALTHCARE DELIVERY SYSTEM IN OSISIOMA-NGWA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ABIA STATE
Indigenous medicine, an aspect of indigenous knowledge is tacit and constitutes part of the culture of a people. It plays a huge role in healthcare delivery in indigenous societies thus ensuring the sustainability and proper functioning of a people in their society. Thus, indigenous knowledge is a vital tool for sustainable development of any society. This qualitative research is situated within an indigenous research methodology. The goal of the research was to develop an in-depth understanding of traditional healthcare delivery system in Osisioma-Ngwa. It was important to explore the indigenous healthcare delivery system in Osisioma-Ngwa because there continues to be a lack of literature on this subject, as well as a significant lack of understanding and awareness about traditional delivery system in contemporary Osisoma-Ngwa society. All the villages in Osisioma-Ngwa L.G.A were studied. Purposive sampling was used to select 35 indigenous medicine practitioners that participated in this study while 20 non-practicing participants were selected by random sampling. In-depth interviews were held at the participants’ own homes and participant observation was employed to observe some activities of the practitioners. Both primary and secondary data sources were used in this study. The themes that emerged from the research articulate an in-depth understanding of traditional healthcare delivery system in Osisioma-Ngwa. The themes are grouped under four categories: categories of indigenous medicine practitioners in Osisima-Ngwa, methods of delivery of healthcare to Osisioma-Ngwa people, mode of transmission/acquisition of indigenous medicine knowledge in Osisioma-Ngwa and prospects of indigenous medicine in contemporary Osisioma-Ngwa sorciety. The findings of this study revealed that indigenous medicine exists and is deeply rooted in Osisioma-Ngwa constituting part of the people’s culture. It also revealed that different categories of indigenous medicine practitioners make up the traditional healthcare delivery system in Osisioma-Ngwa. Materials utilized by the practitioners in the delivery of healthcare to the people are revealed in this study. Challenges that indigenous healthcare delivery system is facing in the contemporary Osisoma-Ngwa society is also highlighted in the study. The outcome of this study may enhance the understanding of the culture of Osisioma-Ngwa people and could be utilized for the enhancement of development of healthcare delivery in Osisioma-Ngwa L.G.A.