Correct knowledge of current antimalarial drugs available for malaria treatment by Nigerians has a significant impact on the overall success of the ongoing national malaria control programme. This is as a result of a large segment of the communities, who more often than not, rely on self medications or as care givers influence the choice drugs for malaria treatment for their wards. The study was therefore set up to ascertain the types of drugs used for self medication of malaria among adult women in Makurdi city. The study was cross-sectional in nature involving adult women who were selected from households using systematic sampling methods. Quantitative information such as age, educational level, marital status, occupation and knowledge of malaria were obtained using structured and semi structured questionnaires, while qualitative information was obtained using focussed and in-depth group discussions to complement quantitative data. Those aware of existence of malaria were 97% (2,013/2075) with no significant age difference (P > 0.05) while 3.0% (62/2,075) with no knowledge of malaria all had no education (P < 0.001). There was a strong correlation between low economic status, low educational level and unemployment, and self medications for malaria (RR = 1.4 - 1.55). Several drugs with no antimalarial properties were mentioned by the respondents with the factors earlier stated still playing significant roles; and little or no mention was made of the artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) by the same group (P < 0.05). There should be a renewed sensitization and public awareness about the current trend in the control of malaria with special emphasis on the use of ACT; also introduction of home managers of malaria for commencement of intermittent preventive treatment should be considered a priority.
Key words: Drugs, self-medication, malaria, adult women
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