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Health Policy. 2010 Feb;94(2):144-9. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2009.09.010.

Geographic inequities in provision and utilization of malaria treatment services in southeast Nigeria: diagnosis, providers and drugs.

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  • 1Department of Health Administration and Management, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria.



To examine the levels of geographic inequities in households' choice of providers, mode of diagnosis and drugs for the treatment of malaria.


Interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect information from 2250 randomly selected respondents from six malaria-endemic communities in southeast Nigeria. A comparison of data between urban and rural areas was used to examine geographic inequities in treatment seeking.


There were geographic inequities in the use of different providers and drugs for the treatment of malaria. The urbanites used more of private hospitals/clinics and specialist hospital, while the rural dwellers used more of drug sellers (patent medicine dealers (PMD) and pharmacy shops (PS)). The rural dwellers were prescribed the cheaper drugs whilst the urbanites were prescribed the more costly drugs.


The geographic inequities in malaria treatment are skewed against the rural people. Everybody is seeking care from the private sector for treatment of malaria but the rural dwellers are using mostly the informal healthcare providers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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