Knowledge and recommendation of ORS and zinc for management of childhood diarrhea among patent and proprietary medicine vendors |
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Knowledge and recommendation of ORS and zinc for management of childhood diarrhea among patent and proprietary medicine vendors

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In Nigeria, where patent and proprietary medicine vendors (PPMVs) provide care in 55% of common pediatric illnesses. 

The purpose of a recent study published in the Journal of Global Health Reports was to investigate PPMVs knowledge of presentation, cause, treatment and prevention of childhood diarrhea, and their recommendation of oral rehydration solution (ORS) and zinc in the treatment of sick children in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

In this cross-sectional study, structured questionnaires were administered to 200 PPMVs over six weeks with a 94% response rate.

The findings revealed that overall knowledge of childhood diarrhea was satisfactory among 47% of PPMVs. Eighty six percent of them reported consistent recommendation of ORS while 63% of PPMVs consistently recommended zinc. Meanwhile, secondary education and post-secondary education were associated with significantly higher knowledge scores. Moreover, recommendation of ORS was significantly associated with knowledge score and prescribing of zinc. Whereas, recommendation of zinc was significantly associated with awareness of ORS/zinc guidelines.

It was inferred that since PPMVs harborminimal knowledge of presentation, cause, treatment and prevention of childhood diarrhea, they are not equipped to optimally manage childhood diarrhea in the community. Hence, educational requirement for PPMVs to operate a drug shop should be increased to at least secondary education level, and supply of ORS/zinc made reliable as these have shown to be important factors in the recommendation of the products.

Source: Journal of Global Health Reports. Vol. 4, 2020 Apr. doi: 10.29392/001c.12252
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