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January 2022

Soc Sci Med. 1984 ; 18(7): 551-4.

Towards better patient drug compliance and comprehension: a challenge to medical and pharmaceutical services in Zimbabwe.

Nyazema NZ.

Based on in-depth interviews of hypertensive and diabetic patients attending out-patient clinics at a central hospital in Zimbabwe, it was found that patients had different ideas and attitudes about the use of medicine. Well over 60% of the patients interviewed lacked comprehension of their disease and the use of the medicine prescribed to them. Some had been to a traditional healer with their problem. The findings show that medicine-taking is a highly individualistic phenomenon. Several factors, for example education attitude and belief, have to be taken into account when trying to educate the public on the use of medicines. Everyone in the medical profession, should be involved in this type of health education. The traditional healers who still enjoy a fairly high status in the Zimbabwean society could be trained and be involved in the health education programme. Health education is the foundation of good therapy and preventive medicine.

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