Several mythologies do surround HIV/AIDS transmission and one of the ones I find really interesting is 'one can not contract the virus by having unprotected sex once or having sex for the first time'. It sounds so similar to the disillusion that one can not get pregnant by having sex just once with a guy. As a peer educator trainer, I learnt to emphasize to the adolescents I trained that it is 'consistent and correct use of condom' that protects not just 'use of condom'.
I think working on HIFA-Arabic will be empowering to millions of people who live in a troubled area that is just emerging to the new era of freedom. The people are just trying to find new ways to get their rights to health and health information.
Looking at Dr Awojobi's strongly made point on the panel-beater who is a bone-setter, practicing right behind his clinic and causing much havoc; I think a realistic option for developing economies, is to do what is being done with TBA's...Train them and prescribe limits. The bone setters, healers and self-proclaimed alternative practitioners can be brought together under an umbrella body. They can be trained, thereafter prescribe stiff guidelines for referrals to the health system...
Why do our people prefer the bone setters, the herbalists, the churches? I'm surprised bone setters still thrive behind your centre notwithstanding that you have made yourself so available and accessible to them. So where is the problem - the cost, the culture, the belief, the faith? The problems are multifactorial and not simplistic as to creating half baked surgeons.
In response to your concern Mary and all colleaques withregards to meeting the needs of patients. As a novice nurse way back early 80's, my experience with mentally ill patients is that of colors and shapes of drugs, if the manufacturers changed the color, size or shape we would see an influx of relapses because the tablets don't work as they said. Very limited information was given probably because we thought they would not understand or would not comply if they are told about their side effects.
Yes our patients need information in order to empower them in self-care. The million dollar question is, how many health workers are in a position to give clients the right information? Charity begins at home. I have come across health workers who are more of sales agents for drug companies in hospitals; they insist on a patient using a certain drug because at the end of the day the drug company shall treat him well for the number of prescriptions issued. Besides this the clinical team needs continuous education to be informed on how to choose the right drug for a patient.
As an adult nurse practitioner with 12 years of clinical experience in the urgent care setting of a large university-based medical center and many more years as a nurse, the norm is for patients to know very little about their medications. When asked what medications they were taking, the answer might be something like this, "a blue one for 'sugar,' a white one for 'my pressure,' and a pink one for 'my nerves.' " Or the patient would simply give the colors and shapes of the medication without knowing what reason the medications had been prescribed.
It's important to let the patient know what he is suffering from, the side effects of the drugs he/she is taking or the precautions he is required to take during the time he is on treatment. This is highly practised in developed countries although there are also numerous cases of wrong prescription or on medication related problems including death in these countries too.
Many Practitioners in developing countries do not give patients the full information about their diagnosis, medication (dose, frequency, side effects) and prognosis for fear that they may self medicate and default on follow up (if there is follow up at all) but I am afraid that that has not stopped uninformed self medication because of poor or non existent control of access to prescription drugs (even narcotics and opiates).
I would like to strongly endorse the comments by Nnodimele about the need for improved patient information to improve adherence and facilitate the safe and effective use of medicine. My major concern is that in order to change patient behavior, a process of awareness, interest, desire, commitment is required before the desired action could be expected. This requires a combination of patient education and counseling, tasks which many health professionals do not regard as their roles.