Availability and accessibility of information: a case of traditional and alternative medicine (TM and AM) in Uganda
Sir Albert Cook Medical Library, Makerere University, Kampala - Uganda
The last decade has witnessed widespread use of TM and AM. This trend has resulted from challenges in application of scientific medicine, with cases of incorrect use and application, which has harmful effects on the consumers. The Government recognizes TM and AM as important complementary service providers. TM/AM is practiced either in isolation or complementary to scientific medicine in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ailments. Given the growing role of TM/AM, and the scanty information about this subject, a study was done in and around Kampala in 2004. The focus of the study was to identify: information needs and sources for TM/AM beneficiaries and the challenges they face; what types of information have been documented and ways for improvement. Questionnaire, structured interview guide and direct observation were used to collect data. The study concluded among other things, that there is need to establish a database of TM / AM practices to improve services, enhance research in TM / AM and for future reference. Recommendations drawn for TM / AM stakeholders were reported.