Research Key


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Journalism and Mass Communication
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International: $20
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Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
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Individuals who feel unwell commonly tend to treat themselves probably due to the innate survival instinct in humans. Every day, all over the world, people act on their health without consulting qualified health personnel.

They practice taking road side drugs. Roadside drugs are what people purchase to establish and maintain health without consulting a doctor as well as to prevent and deal with illness.Filho L, Antonio(2004) The prevalence of roadside drug dependency is high all over the world, and it is a very common practice, both in the economically deprived communities as much as it is in the economically privileged.

Globally, consumers commonly reach for roadside products to help them treat their common health problems which include fever, body pains, indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, cough, and upper respiratory tract infections.Hughes CM, McElnay JC, Fleming GF[2004] This is because it is considered easier, more cost-effective, time-saving, or the problem may seem too trivial to necessitate making an appointment with a healthcare professional, and in other cases, they may have few or no other options.

These practices are more common in women, those who live alone and have a lower socioeconomic status. It is also more common among those with more chronic ailments, psychiatric conditions, of younger age, and students.

The practice is associated with negative health effects such as misdiagnosis, drug resistance, use of drugs in excessive amounts, use of expired drugs, prolonged duration of use, drug interactions, poly-pharmacy, and other toxicological and pharmacological risks associated with improper use of medicines.

People also tend to roadside medicines, when they have previous experience of treating similar illness or non-availability of healthcare personnel with analgesics and antimicrobials being the most common medications used.Rikpo GE, Eja ME, Enyi-Idoh KH. (2010)

Cameroon is among the developing countries of the world, where drugs are freely displayed for sale in unauthorized places such as markets, shops, roadside stalls, motor parks, and other public places by individuals not duly licensed.

Andualem T(2014) This occurs as a result of poor medical services and lack of professional control of pharmaceutical products, thus, forcing people to self-medicate irresponsibly.Bafemi Awolowo(2013) There is a high incidence of self-medication with OTC and prescription medicines ranging from 15.0 to 81.5% in different localities yelola FT, Razaq A, Eniola O(2011). It is a serious problem in Cameroon, and a study from the southern part of the country showed that as many as 60–90% of the population in some communities practice self-medication in one way or the other.Awad A, Eltaved I(20010. The perception of illness and incessant advertising, among others, have increased the prevalence of irresponsible self-medication, which accounts for about 2.9–3.7% causes of death in hospitals in Cameroon as a result of drug–drug interactions .Awan UM, Abubakar(2013)

Evidence indicates that rural residents have a limited access to healthcare, and that rural areas are underserved by primary care physicians. In the developing world, many rural individuals usually travel substantial distances for primary medical care, requiring significantly longer travel times to reach care than their urban counterparts could avail.

Since an inappropriate or dangerous self-medication is more likely to occur among poorly informed people in rural areas with poor terrain, limited health facilities, high illiteracy level and poverty, the level of knowledge, extent of inappropriate as well as appropriate self-medication in a rural community need to be assessed. This study was aimed at assessing the knowledge of roadside medicines, attitude to and the use of communication by the government to combat this cankerworm.Omolase CO(2007)


Despite the long time ban on the sale of roadside drugs, the practice seems to be blossoming across the main towns of Cameroon.

The sale of illicit drugs in Yaoundé, the nation’s capital has reached alarming proportions. The drugs are not just contraband, but many are expired. They sellers of these drugs are not medical experts and as such do not administer proper doses to the patients. They also sell out drugs without actually diagnosing the ailment suffered by the patient which in turn pushes a patient to take drugs for malaria while he or she is suffering from cholera. This goes a long way to affect the patient negatively.

A walk along the streets and markets of the capital city like the Mokolo Market, Central Market, Obili and Melen neighborhoods, amongst the hotspots, street vendors and self-proclaimed pharmacists openly stack contraband drugs on wooden tables.

The poor and underprivileged people appear to be the main buyers of these street drugs. Many of them told this reporter that drugs sold in pharmacies and hospitals are too expensive.

These drugs are harmful as discussed above which is why the government is employing a million tactics to combat the activity, one of which is through communication. But despite the efforts of the government in combating this activity, it still goes on and on and people gear towards it the more for obvious reasons (It’s less expensive)

Based on this, the researcher has embarked on this research to highlight the various effects of consuming roadside drugs make policy recommendations which shall help in solving the problems highlighted.


How does the government use communication to combat roadside drugs selling?

  • What are roadside drugs?
  • What are the measures used by the government to combat roadside drug trafficking?
  • Whatis the effectiveness of the government in combatting roadside drugs selling through the use of communication?
  • What are the various challenges encountered by the government?
  • What possible recommendations can be made to address the issues raised?


The general goal of this research is to examine the use communication to combat roadside drugs selling in Cameroon.

1.5.1 Specific objectives;

  • To discuss the concept of roadside drugs selling.
  • To examine the measures used by the government to combat roadside drug trafficking.
  • To assess the effectiveness of the government in combatting roadside drugs selling through the use of communication.
  • To examine the various challenges encountered by the government.
  • To bring forth possible solutions or recommendations for the effective fight against roadside drugs with the use of communication in Cameroon.
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