Malaria control: Knowledge and Practice among Over-the-Counter Medicine Sellers in the Pru, Sene and Atebubu-Amantin Districts, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJCR.2014.03.01.Art009

Authors : Mensah S.J.A, Addai-Mensa O, Nagai. H. N


Background: Malaria continues to be a major health burden worldwide. In Ghana, Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicine sellers and community pharmacies are known private medicine outlets patients access for malaria treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and practice on malaria control among OTC medicine sellers in the Pru, Sene West and East and Atebubu-Amantin districts in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. Method: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using a structured questionnaire. Sixty-two (62) OTC medicine sellers were randomly selected, informed consent sought and interviewed on malaria transmission, symptoms, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, antimalarial medicine stock and malaria training participated in. Data entry, editing and analysis were done using SPSS. Results: The study revealed a high knowledge on malaria transmission vector, symptoms and prevention with 63% of the OTC medicine sellers have participated in at least one malaria training organized either by the Pharmacy council and/or partners within the past two years. Only 26.2% of OTC medicine sellers use the malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kit to diagnosis and confirm suspected malaria. Majority (65.6%) of OTC medicine sellers often recommend Artemether Lumefantrine (AL) to patients to treat uncomplicated malaria, with between 26% to 43.5% of them haven herbal preparations, sulphadoxine pyrimethamine (SP), monotherapies (only artesunate, or only amodiaquine or only artemether or only lumefantrine) and quinine as the alternative antimalarial medicines at the shop. Most OTC medicine sellers do not comply with the national antimalarial drug treatment guidelines. There was a significant difference (p<0.05) between the malaria management knowledge and skills of a trained OTC medicine seller and a non trained one. Conclusion: Trained OTC medicine sellers have better malaria management knowledge and skills than the non -trained ones. Recommendation: Periodic malaria training of all OTC medicine sellers which focuses on effective diagnosis and treatment would significantly improve the knowledge and the skills in malaria management and control among OTC medicine sellers at the community level.

Keywords: Malaria, Knowledge, Practice, OTC medicine seller, Pru, Sene, Atebubu-Amantin


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