Reasons given by caregivers for Administering African Herbal Medicines to Children at St Rita's Hospital in Sekhukhune District of Limpopo Province, South Africa
The current study explores reasons provided by caregivers for the administration of African traditional medicines in children. This study seeks to understand the caregivers‟ knowledge, motivation, and the context for traditional medicine administration. The study took place in the children‟s ward at St. Rita‟s Provincial Hospital in Sekhukhune District of Limpopo. An explorative qualitative design was adopted using free-attitude interviews. Purposeful sampling was used to select nine key informants. Healthcare is sought for preventive and curative purposes, depending on mothers‟ cultural beliefs, from either traditional or conventional systems, or both. Contexts of health care include home, traditional, faith and conventional. Perception and differentiation childhood illness form the basis of healthcare-seeking behaviour. Mothers show varying patterns of healthcare utilization with respect to severity of childhood illness. Identity and authority factors act as internal and external stimuli, respectively, in administration traditional medicine to children. The mothers‟ patterns of seeking care in the health system suggest childcare pluralism. Since mothers advocate for their children, and defend their culture, modifying their care-seeking behaviour requires acknowledgement of their cultural practices. The collective household decision-making necessitates endorsement of holistic family-oriented iv practices. Reduction of traditional medicine toxicity requires emphasis of preventive and health promotion strategies.