Knowledge and Practice of Drug Retailers in Malaria Management in Lagos Nigeria: A Preliminary Survey
Self- medication is common among the Nigerian populace especially in the treatment of malaria. The quality of care received depends on the knowledge and the manner in which private drug sellers treat their clients. The aim of the study was to evaluate what drug sellers know about malaria and how they can manage their clients. In – depth interviews and an observer administered questionnaire was used to study 67 drug outlets selected by simple random sampling from 8 local government area in 3 divisions of Lagos State. It was administered to the personnel in charge of the outlet on the of visit and all cooperated. All respondent knew that malaria was caused by the bite of an infected mosquito,but malaria was also attributed to various other causes such as:other infected people 7 (11.7%) eating too many mangoes and other seasonal fruits 5 (8.3%),from bad air 18(30%), eating too much butter and fat 12(20%), evil spirits and witches 4(6.9%), bathing too much and being beaten by rain 13(21.7%),cockroaches 7(11.7%), house lies11(18.33%). Thirteen (19.4%) of the respondents knew and recommended correct paediatric doses of chloroquine and 19(28.4%) knew of its safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Thirty three (49.3%) said they administered injections to patients in their retail outlets while 49(73.1%) said they preferred to recommend injections than tablets in acute malaria. There is a need for an educational intervention to correct the misconception of drug sellers about malaria . They are the first line of contact by many patients; formal training to encourage the use of standard treatment guidelines by drug sellers will greatly improve the quality of care received by the populace in malaria.
NQJHM Vol. 14 (1) 2004: pp. 84-87