World Health & Population

World Health & Population January 2004 .doi:10.12927/whp.2004.17633

Management of Malaria by Medicine Retailers in a Nigerian Urban Community

W.O. Erhun and A. Osagie

Abstract

Malaria is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in Nigeria. A considerable proportion of malaria treatments occur through self medication via medicines bought from medicine retailers. This study was aimed at determining the knowledge, prescribing and selling practices of medicine retailers in an urban community in Nigeria. Questionnaire was administered to retailers in 230 medicine outlets in the Surulere local government area, Lagos state, Nigeria. The questionnaire focused primarily on the availability and distribution of different antimalarials medicines, retailers' perception of malaria and their response to complaints of the illness from patrons. Moderate correlation (r, (208) ≥ 0.13, p< 0.05) between patrons' symptoms and the prescription of chloroquine revealed that the retailers had a fair knowledge of how to diagnose malaria. We however observed a number of therapeutic challenges which may be overcome by suitable educational intervention to improve upon the knowledge and treatment practices of medicine retailers in Nigeria.

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