Drug availability and health facility usage in a Bamako Initiative and a non-Bamako Initiative Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State, South -South Nigeria
Background: The availability of drugs on a continuous basis is paramount to the success of any health care system. The Bamako Initiative (BI) had provision of essential drugs as one of its key thrusts in order to improve the utilization of health facilities. This study compared the perceived availability of essential drugs and patronage of health facilities in a BI and non-BI Local government areas (LGA) of Akwa Ibom State in south-south Nigeria.
Methodology: This was a cross sectional comparative descriptive study that used an interviewer administered semi-structured questionnaire as an instrument for data collection. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS software version 11.
Results: A total of 154 respondents in each LGA were interviewed. Up to 135 (88.8%) opined that drugs were always available in the BI LGA as against 103 (66.9%) in the non-BI LGA (p <0.001). Similarly, 133 (86.3%) said drugs were usually available in the required formulation for BI LGA compared to 115 (74.7%) in the non-BI LGA (p <0.05).
More respondents in the BI facilities, 45 (45%) reported using the facilities often compared to 39 (35.8%) in the non-BI facilities (p = 0.03). A total of 116 (75.3%) respondents in the BI LGA felt drugs were not costly compared to 50 (32.7%) in the non-BI LGA (p <0.001). Up to 11 (7.2%) respondents in the non-BI LGA were not satisfied with the drug services in the health centers, compared to 1(0.6%) in the BI LGA (p = 0.01).
Conclusion: Availability of essential drugs therefore seemed to contribute to patients' usage of health facilities.
Keywords: Bamako Initiative, Essential Drugs, Availability, Patronage, Health Facilities, Utilization