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Table 4 Folk and popular medicines for commonly recognized illnesses (the top nine problems from the free-listing exercise)

From: Perceptions of caregivers about health and nutritional problems and feeding practices of infants: a qualitative study on exclusive breast-feeding in Kwale, Kenya

Health problem Equivalent english term Perceived causes Traditional care or popular medicine
1. Ndani ya chitovu Stomachache occurs in a process of healing of umbilical cord, constipation, diarrhea Mihaso (Mzaraf), “Gripe water”, “Bonnisan”, “Dentinox”
2. Mafuwa “Flue (bad cold)”, Chest cold Coldness “Piriton syrup”, “Septrin”, “Panadol syrup”
3. Kukohola Coughing coldness, pregnant mother carrying heavy load Herbs, “Piriton syrup”, “Septrin”, “Pandol syrup” for vomiting perceived to be accompanied by fever
4. Kuhaphika Vomiting fever, excessive breast-milk “Piriton syrup”, “Septrin”, “Pandol syrup” for vomiting perceived by fever
5. Mwilimoto/homa Fever, High temperature, “homa” could be malaria Coldness “Piriton syrup”, “Septrin”, “Panadol syrup”
6. Kuharisha Diarrhea Mismatching of different types of foods, fever, erupting tooth, eye contact with eagle, husband having an affair with other women Amulet around the baby’s waist by traditional healer (prevention), herb and salt, traditional healer, home mad ORS
7. Kulumwa ni masto Sore eye dust, outbreak Herbs, wipe with warm water + salt, sea water, drop of breast-milk, tea leaves
8. Kulumwa ni masikiro Sore ear Drips of water in the ears during bath Herb, coconut oil, Gun’s oil, Sheep’s oil, chicken oil
9. Kuodzala ndani ( Dzongo ) Stomachache, Swelling of stomachache Dzongo (evil eye), baby swallowing breast-milk simultaneously the person who sees the baby swallowing ones saliva Prevent a baby from being seen or commented nice things by the others, traditional healer, color between eyebrows