The perception of homoeopathy amongst African adults resident in Mnambithi Municipality (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
Lamula, Sboniso Bethwel
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Introduction All the studies on the perception of homoeopathy in South Africa conducted so far have found that the group least knowledgeable about homoeopathy is the African group. However, no study yet has focused on this group, and tried to find out more detail about their perceptions of homoeopathy. The study took place in Mnambithi, a town in the northern part of KwaZulu Natal within the Uthukela District with a population of about 200 000 people. Aim of the study The overall aim of this study was to determine the perception, knowledge and utilization of homoeopathy amongst African adults resident in Mnambithi, KwaZulu Natal. Methodology The survey method was employed to conduct this study. The research instrument was a self-administered questionnaire. The number of questionnaires completed was 1034, distributed according to suburbs 10.6%, centre of town iii 9.8%, former township areas 58.7% and rural areas 20.6% which approximately reflected the proportion of the population resident in those areas. The data was primarily analyzed by means of descriptive statistics using frequency tables. Results The sample consisted of 50.3% males and 49.5% females, with the largest group of respondents being 41 years old and above. Most were unemployed (61.8%). The educational standard was high, with 43.8% of respondents having matric and 20.4% having a diploma or degree. Most respondents (98.6%) had not heard of homoeopathy before. Only 0.1% of respondents had consulted a homoeopath before. 83.8% of respondents answered that they would consider consulting a homoeopath in the future, and 43.3% indicated they were interested in learning more about homoeopathy. The lack of knowledge about homoeopathy and yet being interested in learning more, is a similar finding to other perception studies. Conclusions It can be concluded from the results that the level of knowledge of homoeopathy amongst respondents was minimal, with only 10 out of 1034 respondents having heard of homoeopathy. Questions relating to the perception of homoeopathy were restricted to those who had heard of homoeopathy, but because of the small number, no conclusions regarding perception can be drawn.