Comparison of access to medicines between Klang Valley and East Coast of peninsular Malaysia for children living in poor households
Purpose: To compare access to medicines in children living in poor households (income of USD1/person/day) between urbanised Klang Valley and rural East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Methods: A semi-structured interview was conducted with caregivers to determine demographics, access to medicines, knowledge, attitude and practice of parents in obtaining medicines for children.
Results: There was no significant difference socio-demographically between poor households in Klang Valley (N = 58) and East Coast (N = 40). The study found that access to medicine for children (N = 325) in the households was adequate, where all households that reported illness in the children over the last 1 month and the last 6 month periods, obtained medicines and 99 % of the children were fully immunized. Qualitative analysis showed that poor households face several barriers in accessing medicines for their children such as financial, transportation, physical and attitudinal.
Conclusion: Access to medicines for children living in poor households in both areas were similar and adequate. However, barriers to access remain and further studies are required.
Keywords: Aaccess to medicine, Poor populations, Children, Klang Valley, Peninsular Malaysia