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Malaria prevention and treatment awareness and practice among patent medicine vendors (PMVs) in Gombe Metropolis, Nigeria

Mela Danjin, Henry O Sawyerr, Doka JS Pauline and Haruna M Moda (2021) Malaria prevention and treatment awareness and practice among patent medicine vendors (PMVs) in Gombe Metropolis, Nigeria. GSC Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 14 (3). pp. 113-121.

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The ravaging consequences of Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have been a subject of serious concern to every stakeholder. Literature and anecdotal evidence shows that around 60% of Nigerians seek fever treatment from Patent Medicine Vendors (PMVs) despite the limited formal dispensing knowledge most possess. This study attempts to establish a base line of knowledge, attitude and practices of Malaria control among PMVs in Gombe Metropolis, North Eastern Nigeria. The study was a descriptive cross sectional survey based on structured questionnaires used to collect relevant information from 109 PMVs selected by purposive sampling technique. The result show that 85.3% of the participants in this study correctly identified fever or high body temperature as the common sign of uncomplicated (UC) Malaria, while 70.6% recognized convulsion as one of the main symptoms of severe Malaria. Furthermore, 86.2% of the PMVs also knew that sleeping inside treated nets constitute one of the best ways to prevent Malaria. In the same vein, awareness of change in Malaria treatment policy from monotherapy to Artemisinin based combination therapy (ACT) was high (73.3%) among them. However, those PMVs that had ever undergone some degree of drug dispensing training exhibited a significantly higher level of awareness of change in malaria treatment policy (X2 =17.903, P = 0.000). Although 85.3% of PMVs frequently recommend Arthemeter Lumefantrine (AL) as treatment of uncomplicated Malaria, only 39.4% of the participants would refer severe malaria cases. Even though most Malaria control awareness and practice variables were found to be fairly good among the participants, it is clear from the study that there is the need for enhanced training, monitoring and supervision by the relevant authorities so as to fully harness the vast potential in PMVs.

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