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Introduction: Patent Medicine vendors (PMVs) can provide an opportunity for effective scaling up of artemsinin based combination therapy (ACT). However, there are serious concerns about their malaria treatment practices. Inadequate medicine sellers’ knowledge will likely jeopardise the objective of this combination therapy. It is therefore relevant to assess the knowledge and utilization of ACTs by the PMVs in communities in Nigeria.
Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge and utilization of artemisinin based combination therapy (ACT) by PMVs.
Methodology: The study was conducted among PMVs in six (6) communities in Anambra state, South-east Nigeria. A minimal sample size of 237 was determined using the formula for descriptive studies and 270 PMVs were used for the study. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used for the data collection and the data analysed using Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18.
Results: Only 8 % of the respondents correctly mentioned the vector organism responsible for malaria transmission. However, while 78 % of the PMVs were conversant with the term ACT and 71 % stock ACT in their shops, only 13.3 % knew the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) recommended first line drug for treatment of uncomplicated malaria and also, only 23 % knew the distinction between mono- and combination therapies. Meanwhile, only 38.9 % of the interviewed group indicated paticipating in malaria trainings organised by different organisations in the past three years. Furthermore, 16.7 %, 20 % and 25.6 % respectively knew the dosage regimen, side effects and contra indications to a stated ACT.
Conclusion: This study concluded that there are inadequate knowledge and low utilization of ACTs in our study population and recommends educational programs on FMOH malaria treatment policy which may be effective in scaling up of ACT knowledge and utilization
Drug utilization, Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT),Patent Medicine Vendors (PMV), Rural area, Antimalarias, Nigeria.