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Abstract

This paper examines the attitudes and the practice of documentation of indigenous knowledge by the traditional health practitioners (THP) in Kwara State, Nigeria. Indigenous knowledge has been playing significant roles most especially in the primary health of the people in rural areas. This important knowledge is prone to attrition due to non-documentation and the World Bank has warned that if the knowledge is not documented, it will be lost. The study adopted descriptive survey research design and utilized questionnaire to collect data for the study. 30 traditional health practitioners were purposively selected based on their experience for the study. Simple percentage and frequency count were used to analyse the biographic variables while the research questions were answered using means and standard deviation while the hypotheses were tested using Pearson Correlation. The result of the study shows that there were more male traditional health practitioners than female, the higher percentage of them were elderly and highly experienced in the practice. The practitioners had positive attitudes to documentation of their IK and there is significant relationship between attitudes and documentation of IK. Writing and storytelling are the most prominent practice of documentation and that lock of formal education, fear of loss of ownership of the knowledge, misuse of the documented knowledge among others are challenges facing documentation of Ik in Kwara State, Nigeria. The study concludes that THP should be helped to overcome these challenges so that they will be encouraged to document their IK to prevent it from going into extinction.

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