Malaria Perceptions among Medicine Vendors in Buea Community: An Assessment of Knowledge of Malaria and Conditions of Antimalarial Drug Dispensing

  • Marcelus U. Ajonina School of Health Sciences, Meridian Global University
  • Kenric B. Ware South University - Columbia
  • Deodata B. Ngonga School of Health and Human Services, Saint Monica University
  • Raphael A. Abong Meridian Global Education and Research Foundation
  • Carine K Nfor Meridian Global Education and Research Foundation
  • Tobias O. Apinjoh Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Buea
Keywords: antimalarials, drug retail outlets, dispensing, drug resistance, prescription

Abstract

Background: Lack of knowledge of rational use of antimalarial drugs among medicine vendors is a serious problem, notably in areas of intense transmission. These misunderstandings increase the risks of resistance and adverse drug reactions. This study aimed to assess knowledge of malaria and environments wherein medicine vendors dispense antimalarials in the Buea community.

Methods: Administration of a community-based cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 140 medicine vendors living within the Buea community occurred between March and June 2017. The survey sought to obtain information from medicine vendors on their general knowledge of malaria as well as their dispensing practices. Statistically significant findings were associated with p ≤ .05.

Results: The majority of participants were aware that use of insecticide – treated bed nets (ITNs) and maintenance of a clean environment equate to effective malaria prevention efforts.  Alternatively, only one-third of participants correctly attributed the causative organism of malaria to being protozoan. Participants employed within drugstore settings had less knowledge of malaria than their hospital/community counterparts did. A directly proportional relationship existed between the amount of experience that participants had in their respective disciplines with an increased knowledge of malaria overall. 

Conclusion: These findings reveal fluctuating knowledge of malaria among study participants. Reported antimalarial dispensing practices also warrants room for improvement. Routine monitoring and evaluation to prevent emergence of resistant strains to current efficacious antimalarials remains paramount.

 

Article Type: Original Research

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Dates
Submitted: 2018-07-09
Accepted: 2019-06-11
Published: 2019-07-24
Section
Practice-Based Research