In Nigeria, there is no quick fix for antibiotic abuse
Pharmacist Atere-Akeukereke Hamidat knows that a problem exists in Nigeria’s medical ecosystem, in which citizens have easier access to drugs than they do to hospitals.
“From the main road to my house, there are dozens of patent and proprietary medicine vendors [basic drug stores] but no single hospital,” she told Devex.
Patent and proprietary medicine vendors, or PPMVs, have no formal education in health or pharmaceuticals and so, unlike pharmacies, are not allowed to sell prescription medicines. But with their proximity to citizens and lower cost of service, they have become the first point of care for most patients seeking health services in Nigeria. While official estimates are not available, a USAID report estimated that about 200,000 PPMVs operated in the country as of 2005, far outnumbering the 2,639 pharmacies that were registered that same year.
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