Role of shops and shopkeepers in malaria control.
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A study was carried out to determine the range of antimalarial drugs stocked and also to determine the knowledge and practice patterns of shopkeepers and their customers on antimalarial products stocked and bought. It was hoped that the information thus obtained could be used to improve the selling and buying practices and hence contribute positively to malaria control. Up to seventeen different brands of antimalarial drugs including thirteen different brands of chloroquine and four different second line drugs were stocked by shopkeepers. A multiplicity of drugs, dosages and combinations were used for treating malaria. Only 38% of the shopkeepers felt they knew enough on the use of the drugs used in the treatment of malaria while 23% of the customers felt they knew enough on the use of the drugs. Most of the respondents wanted to know more on the use of the drugs. Knowledge desired by the shopkeepers included the correct dosage, combination with other drugs and side effects while information needed by the customers was on correct dosage, combination with other drugs as well as adverse effects. The person mentioned by the shopkeepers and the consumers to be in the best position to give the information was the doctor. The dissemination method preferred by the shopkeepers as well as the consumers was the radio.