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Kano: Patients abandon “expensive” hospitals for patent medicine stores

Poor financial situation discouraged patients from visiting the hospitals.

• November 11, 2020
Abdullahi Ganduje
Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje (Photo Credit: Premium Times)

Patent medicine stores vendors in Kano said they have been recording high patronage as patients throng their stores to access health services, NAN reports.

Some of the vendors who spoke to NAN on Wednesday said they now have difficulty in managing the high volume patronage they face daily.

Patent medicine vendors are informal drug sellers who have usually received minimum or no training.

In Nigeria, patent medicine vendors are licensed to sell a limited range of medication and most communities have access to a patent medicine vendor.

Umar Wakili, a medicine store owner, at Wudilawa area of Kano Municipal, said he attends to about 20 patients or more daily.

“We usually advice them to attend clinics before coming to us to purchase drugs, but yet most of them fail to go, while some even come with names of the drugs they want to purchase,” Mr. Wakili told NAN. “So we are left with no option but to expand our scope, to the extent that we test them for malaria, typhoid, blood sugar and blood pressure to ensure we give them the right medication.”

Another patent medicine store owner, Bello Usman said he hardly rests as it was “a season of illness” and there were always patients around.

He said: “Most times if I want to take a break, I have to lock up the shop and take a break, else people wouldn’t even allow us to offer prayers and eat.”

He explained that people have been used to staying away from hospitals due to financial constraints especially after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Bilkisu Ohiza, a female patent mecidicine vendor, said she has never recorded as much sales as now since she started her business seven years ago.

“I make so much money due to the large number of patients that purchased drugs from me,” Ms. Ohiza said.

She added that there was a high rate of fever in the last months in Kano, and people prefer to patronise them than going to hospitals.

Abdullahi Hussaini, a customer who patronise patent medicine store, told NAN that patent medine was faster, easier and more affordable than hospitals.

He explained that the financial situation of people made them to prefer patronising patent medicine stores than going to hospitals with their attendant long protocol and cost.

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