East Afr Med J. 1992 Mar; 69(3): 126-9.
Layman's perception of antimicrobial agents: a challenge to health education strategy in Zimbabwe.
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Zimbabwe, Avondale, Zimbabwe.
In many developing countries there has not been any systematic analysis of societal beliefs and attitudes towards drug entities, the meaning which is attributed to drugs and their effects and how such meanings might influence drug consumption and health seeking behaviour. It is in many developing countries that a lot of antimicrobial agents are available freely over the counter or on the street. This is said to make the assessment of the therapeutic outcome during their use often very difficult. The present study has shown that continued health education while at the same time paying attention to societal beliefs and attitudes towards infectious diseases and medicines used, is required. The specific aims must be to reinforce beliefs that facilitate appropriate use of antimicrobial agents and to discourage those that impede it.