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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2010, Article ID 470754, 7 pages
Research Article

Patent Medicine Sellers: How Can They Help Control Childhood Malaria?

1Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria 810006, Nigeria
2Research and Statistics Unit, National Eye Centre, Kaduna PMB 2267, Nigeria
3Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD 21205, USA

Received 18 May 2010; Accepted 19 July 2010

Academic Editor: Giampietro Corradin

Copyright © 2010 Rosamund M. Akuse et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Roll Back Malaria Initiative encourages participation of private health providers in malaria control because mothers seek care for sick children from them. This study investigated Patent Medicine Sellers (PMS) management of presumptive malaria in children in order to identify how they can assist malaria control. A cross-sectional survey of 491 PMS in Kaduna, Nigeria, was done using interviews and observation of shop activities. Most (80%) customers bought drugs without prescriptions. Only 29.5% were given instructions about doses. Between 40–100% doses of recommended antimalarials were incorrect. Some (22%) PMS did not ask questions about illness for which they were consulted. Most children treated in shops received injections. PMS facilitate homecare but have deficiencies in knowledge and practice. Interventions must focus on training them to accurately determine doses, give advice about drug administration, use oral medication, and ask about illness. Training should be made a prerequisite for registering and reregistering shops.