The role of shops and shopkeepers in malaria control
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A study was earned out to determine the range of antimalarial drugs stocked and also to determine the knowledge and practice patterns of shopkeepers and their customers concerning the antimalarial products that were stocked and bought. It was hoped that the information thus obtained could be used to improve 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 the shopkeepers. A multiplicity of drugs, dosages and combinations was used for treating malaria Only 38% of the shopkeepers felt they knew enough about the use of the drugs in treatment of malaria and only 23% of the customers felt they knew enough about the use of the drugs. Most of the respondents wanted to know more about the use of the drugs. Knowledge that the shopkeepers desired included correct dosage, combination with other drugs and side effects, while information needed by the customers concerned correct dosage, combination with other drugs as well as adverse side effects. The person that the shopkeepers and the customers mentioned as being in the best position to supply this information was the doctor. The dissemination method preferred by both the shopkeepers and the consumers was the radio.