1921
image of Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Consumers’ Access to Essential Medicines in Nigeria
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

COVID-19 is a global pandemic which has seriously impacted the economy of nations. Access to essential medicines is of utmost importance. This study examined the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ease of access to essential medicines by end users. A cross-sectional survey using electronic questionnaires was conducted on study participants across the 36 states of Nigeria. They were assessed on sociodemographics, health characteristics, and challenges in accessing essential medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data obtained were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 20, IBM, Armonk, NY) with overall impact of the pandemic operationalized as < 60.0% or ≥ 60.0% access to essential medicines by respondents as maximal and minimal impact, respectively. The results showed that 35.2% of the respondents managing chronic illnesses had difficulties accessing essential medicines during the COVID-19 lockdown, with 84.0% experiencing deteriorating chronic health conditions in the light of difficulty in accessing their medicines. The proportion of respondents who sourced for orthodox medicines before COVID-19 lockdown (98.4%) was significantly ( < 0.05) higher than that of those who sourced for the same during the lockdown (89.0%). Increase in cost of medicines was observed by 77.7% of participants, with 73.9% of respondents living with chronic illness affirming that their income was negatively affected by the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic had minimal impact on consumers’ ability to access essential medicines. However, important challenges identified were poor availability of means of transportation, reduced income, and high cost of medicines, as well as fear of contracting the virus.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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  • Received : 10 Jul 2020
  • Accepted : 10 Aug 2020
  • Published online : 18 Aug 2020
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