MWJ2017, 8, 1
Medicine preference, usage and health-seeking behaviour are very important in the treatment of malaria and prevention and management of drug resistance. A descriptive cross-sectional study, using a semi-structured questionnaire administered to 135 respondents, was carried out to assess antimalarial drug preference and usage among rural dwellers in Alajue, Ede, Osun State and peri-urban dwellers in Ajara, Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria. Loss of appetite, fever, chill and rigour, headache and vomiting were the most frequently reported symptoms (83.3%, 78.6%, 71.4%, 69.0% and 64.3%, respectively). More than half (57.1%) of the respondents had their drugs prescribed by a qualified health practitioner. Sixty-eight (50.3%) respondents treated malaria with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) while Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP), paracetamol and herbal medicine usage was reported by 11.9%, 9.6% and 4.4% of the respondents, respectively. Thirty-two respondents (23.7%) took nothing to treat the infection. Of them, only 64.3% completed their drugs regimen during their last episode with 35.7% reporting that fever subsided on/before day 2 of treatment and 64.3% reported that fever subsided two days post treatment. The majority (83.3%) of respondents had no adverse reaction to the drugs used (16.7% reported drowsiness, nausea, headaches and vomiting) with 64% of the respondents reporting that they will use ACT again anytime they have malaria and about 65% reported that the drug was very convenient for them (χ2 = 18.192, p = 0.001). The control of drug resistance in malaria parasites requires reducing the overall drug pressure, improving the ways the drugs are used and prescribing follow-up practices. The use of drug combinations that are not likely to foster resistance like ACT is also a good measure of resistance control. ACT would be expected to remain the key anti- malarial drug for treatment of multidrug resistance P. falciparum since there are no alternative drugs available at present.