A study of the activities of Some Drug Hawkers within the Lagos Metropolis
Purpose: To investigate the activities of selected medicine hawkers in Lagos in search of tools useful in controlling them and consequently improve the quality of service given to their clients. Methods: A prospective study was conducted on 290 medicine hawkers in 15 major areas of heavy human traffic within the metropolis using questionnaires filled by the interview technique. Results: The drug hawkers had shifted their activities from the day to the night time to evade inspection by officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Asministration Control (NAFDAC). Among the medicine hawkers, 109 (38%) and 116 (40%) completed primary and secondary school training respectively while 48 (17%) had no formal educational training. Also 17 (5%) hawkers had prior training in the handling of pharmaceuticals. Their level of educational attainment appeared to influence the ability of these drug sellers to prescribe the appropriate drug regimen. The traders prescribe and sell both over-the-counter and prescription only drugs. Conclusion: NAFDAC regulatory activity, an improvement in the quality of service provision at orthodox health facilities combined with a programme designed to recruit, train, and license these hawkers for the use of over-the-counter medicines only, may be key in controlling their activities.
Keywords: Unethical drugs purchase, hawkers activities, Lagos metropolis.
NQJHM Vol. 15 (2) 2005: pp. 98-102