Background. People seek treatment for malaria from a wide range of providers ranging from itinerant drug sellers to hospitals. However, there are lots of problems with treatment provision. Hence, factors influencing treatment provision in hospitals and non-hospitals require further investigation in order to remedy the situation. Objectives. To examine the knowledge, pattern of treatment provision and factors influencing the behaviour of hospitals and non-hospitals in the treatment of malaria, so as to identify loci for interventions to improve treatment of the disease. Methods. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 225 providers from hospitals and non-hospitals about their malaria treatment practices and factors that influence their provision of malaria treatment services in south-east Nigeria. The data from hospitals and other providers were compared for systematic differences. Results. 73.5% of hospitals used microscopy to diagnose malaria and only 34.5.1% of non-hospitals did (p < 0.05). Majority of the respondents considered ability to pay bills (35.2%), already existing relationship (9.4%) and body mechanism (35.2%) of the patient before they provided malaria treatment services. Pressure from wholesalers to providers to repay the cost of supplied drugs was the major influence of the type of drugs provided to patients. Conclusion. There are many challenges to appropriate provision of malaria treatment services, although challenges are less in hospitals compared to other types of non-hospitals. Improving proper diagnosis of malaria and improving the knowledge of providers about malaria are interventions that could be used to improve malaria treatment provision. © 2009 Onwujekwe et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Onwujekwe, O., Uzochukwu, B., Dike, N., Uguru, N., Nwobi, E., & Shu, E. (2009). Malaria treatment perceptions, practices and influences on provider behaviour: Comparing hospitals and non-hospitals in south-east Nigeria. Malaria Journal, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-8-246