Indigenous Knowledge and Practices in the Control of Rabies in North Central Nigeria
J. Aiyedun1, J Aivedun1, R. Nwoha2
Ethno veterinary medical practice in the control of rabies in Nigeria is of age. These knowledge systems do not only reflect the people’s health values and needs but also their socio-economic status.
This study was carried out to access the indigenous and practical knowledge about rabies control in North Central, Nigeria.
Using the combination of literature review, focus group discussion and in-depth interview, information was obtained from 246 adults aged 30–60 years (78% male, 22% female).
All the respondents were aware that rabies could be transmitted through dog bite, they were all conversant with the local name in vernacular Digbolugi and they were aware of the furious form of rabies. Sixty five percent of the respondents keep dogs for hunting and security while the remaining 35% do not keep dogs. Local farmers and hunters who kept dogs claimed that rabid dogs and their human victims are curable with local herbs such as Apa - asa, Imi- esu, Goat weeds, Raw walnut, Fresh okro and materials such as Adin eyan, Salt, Cobra intestine, Dog’s blood, Dog’s hair, Aporo epa ijebu which were either applied topically on the wound or taken orally by the victim immediately after the bite. All the respondents claimed that all the local remedies are efficacious although these are still subject to investigation.
It is important for indigenous people to be properly educated about rabies, make available their claimed remedies for scientific authentication and transfer the indigenous knowledge to others if proven effective.