PATENT MEDICINES STORES: 'Nigeria has 200,000 unofficial drug shops and just 2600 licensed pharmacies.' LANCET - Health Resource International West Africa (HRI)

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

PATENT MEDICINES STORES: 'Nigeria has 200,000 unofficial drug shops and just 2600 licensed pharmacies.' LANCET


The Nigeria health 'system', if we can call what operates  system, is full of ironies and contradictions: Patent Medicine Stores (PPMVs)  are meant to sell only OTCs (Over the counter drugs) but
everybody knows that it may be easier to buy all types of POM ( Prescription only medicines) including Dangerous drugs (DDA) opiates, etc from Patent Medicine shops whether in townships or rural areas.
Courtesy of HIFA and LANCET we share below a very interesting study report and the category of persons / groups that own Patent Medicine Shops: '--19% were community health extension workers, 13% nurses and midwives, 3% pharmacists, 2% laboratory technicians or scientists, and 1% doctors.'-- 

'  [hifa] Lancet: Drug shops as primary point of care - the case of Nigeria
CITATION: Paul Webster. Drug shops as primary point of care — the case of Nigeria
Published: 01 July 2017. The Lancet 2017;390:15-17

This interesting article suggests that hundreds of thousands of drug shop owners in Nigeria (and other countries across Africa and Asia) could be trained to deliver basic primary health services. Indeed the Global Fund and the Gates Foundation have already funded Family Health Services  to 'train 60,000 Nigerian drug shop employees in the fundamentals of integrated management of family health care'. (I was unable to find out who is 'Family Health Services' - is this public sector, academia or an NGO?).  Below are the citation and selected extracts :
  
Nigeria has 200,000 unofficial drug shops and just 2600 licensed pharmacies.

'Drug shops are lower-tier retail outlets, with no pharmacist on staff, that sell over-the-counter drugs, chemical products, and household remedies in scores of countries in Asia and Africa.'

'Drug shop owners are only legally required to have completed primary school, [but] 39% of the shop owners had received some form of health training, and of these, 19% were community health extension workers, 13% nurses and midwives, 3% pharmacists, 2% laboratory technicians or scientists, and 1% doctors.'

“There is a large and distributed workforce of drug vendors, many of whom have formal health training, through which basic health services could be provided”, the [Nigeria Society for Family Health] argues. “Although previous studies raise concerns about the poor knowledge, drug stocking, and drug dispensing practices of PPMVs, our findings point to the value of working with this sector to improve the provision of accessible essential health services and commodities.”

'Magdalene Okolo, director of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Project at Family Health Services, which trains community health workers to use live-saving drugs, including misoprostol to stop postpartum bleeding, decries the lack of action to expand the role of drug shops. "They should be encouraged to stock life-saving commodities such as misoprostol because people are dying", she urges. "People are getting their drugs directly from the drug shops to save their lives because most of the primary health-care centres are not functioning."'

Africa Center for Clin Gov Research & Patient Safety
@ HRI West Africa Group - HRI WA
Consultants in Clinical Governance Implementation
Publisher: Health and Medical Journals 
8 Amaku Street Housing Estate, Calabar
Cross River State, Nigeria
Phone No. +234 (0) 8063600642


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