Assessment of Antimalarial Drug Use among the Patients in a Tertiary Hospital in Northern Part of Nigeria

Aims: To assess the pattern of antimalarial drug use among the patients attending the teaching hospital in Jos North local Government of Nigeria.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: Tertiary hospital in Jos North Local Government of Plateau state of Nigeria, between July and September, 2012.

Methodology: A sample size of 441 male and female patients was selected into this study using a universal sampling. Information on the knowledge, attitudes and practices with respect to antimalarial drug use were obtained with the aid of a pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data was analyzed using the SPSS software.

Results: Four hundred and forty one (441) patients completed the questionnaire. Respondent knowledge of malaria with respect to description of malaria decreased (42.7% to 0.2%). Almost all the patients were able to describe the causes and symptoms of malaria. One hundred and sixty nine (38.3%) frequently treated their malaria with Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) combination, Three hundred and eighty two (86.6%) reported to have used oral preparation, almost half of the respondents (47.6%) obtained these medications from many sources apart from hospitals, only two hundred and forty eight reported to comply to treatment. Majority of the participants always used some methods for the prevention of malaria.

Conclusion: Concerted effort should be made to educate the population on malaria as well as the importance of drug adherence. Provision of ACTs at subsidized costs will go a long way in improving malaria treatment services in Nigeria, indigenous plantations for cultivating active ingredients and local manufacturing of ACTs is further expected to lower the costs of the drugs and increase its utilization and lower the incidence and impact of malaria. It will be important for interventions to be directed at educating the consumers on malaria pathogenesis, diagnosis, therapy and prevention and importance of drug adherence in order to improve the quality, efficacy of treatments and to reduce local morbidity and mortality in the future.

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