The use of medicinal plants to treat sexually transmitted diseases in Nigeria: Ethnomedicinal survey of Niger Delta Region

Kola‘ K. Ajibesin, Danladi N. Bala, Uwemedimo F. Umoh


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur throughout the world. In Nigeria, STDs are one of the leading diseases affecting a vast
majority of people. The prevalence rate of these diseases is high in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, especially in Akwa Ibom and Rivers
States. Majority of the population turn to traditional medical practitioners (TMPs), who are available in every community for the treatment of STDs, due to lack of access to modern health facilities and also due to the social stigma associated with the diseases. An ethnomedicinal survey was conducted on the TMPs of various communities of Akwa Ibom and Rivers States of Nigeria to obtain and document information on the medicinal plants used to treat STDs. Interviews were conducted in the local language about plant parts, ailments treated, method of preparation and dosages. The statistical analyses used were use-value, fidelity level, bar chart, and pie chart. Thirty-six plant species representing 26 families were reported by 105 TMPs as remedies for STDs including gonorrhoea and syphilis. Gonorrhoea was the most important disease treated. The medicinal plants used may serve as a source of new and effective drugs and the TMPs may serve as additional source of health manpower.
Key words: Medicinal plants, Niger Delta, Nigeria, sexually transmitted diseases

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