health is fundamental to improved quality of life, and the goal of promoting
the health of rural community dwellers in Nigeria is critical in improving the
quality of life of a vast majority of Nigerians who reside in rural
communities. The objectives of this study were to determine the purpose for
patronage of patent medicine shops; determine the reason(s) for preference for
patent medicine shops to local health care centres; review the major challenges
of patent medicine sellers or patent and proprietary medicine vendors (PPMVs);
ascertain the level of uptake of cases in patent medicine shops compared to
health centres; and to proffer a functional policy framework involving the
patent and proprietary medicine vendors and shops to improve the quality and
access to primary health care especially in rural communities in Nigeria.
MATERIALS AND METHOD
cross sectional pilot study made use of questionnaires containing semi structured
questions, through direct one-on-one interviews, and information was obtained
from both PPMVs and individuals who patronize their shops. This study was done
in four rural communities of Delta State, Nigeria. Two major primary data sets
and a secondary data set were generated. The Statistical Package for Social
Sciences (SPSS) version 21 for windows software was used for analysis and a
descriptive presentation of the data was given.
a total of 51 patent medicine shop users, 21 (41.2%) males and 30 (58.8%),
females, with mean age of 30.2 years, 35 (70.5%) patronize PPMVs to buy
medicine, while 14 (27.5%) went for consultation and just one person went to
two (43.1%) respondents claimed proximity to place of residence as a major
reason for preference for PPMVs, 6 (11.8%), mentioned familiarity with PMS
owners, 5 (9.8%) said there was no delay in receiving treatment. All but one of
the 14 patent and proprietary medicine vendors that were interviewed was male,
with a mean age of 36.43 years. Four (28.6%) PPMVs claimed there was no major
challenge in their business, 3 (21.4%) mentioned financial constraint. A
comparative look at the total attendance records of both patent medicine shops
and the health centres revealed poor level of utilization of health centres.
medicine shops are unique and very important in health care delivery especially
in rural communities of Nigeria. There is need for a paradigm shift towards
reorienting and integrating PPMVs and other related drug outlets into the
mainstream primary health care delivery system. This will serve as an
opportunity to improve the coverage and quality of the health system in
to health; Rural communities; Patent medicine sellers; Primary health care.
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