Dispensaries have been the most common providers of health services in the Kainji Lake rural area of Nigeria and the only form of health facility in this area. A survey of the working conditions of the dispensary assistants showed that 70% of the respondents are already frustrated because of lack of support, supervision, and prospects for further training. A proposal is made for further training of the dispensary assistants and for improving their conditions of service. The seasonal distribution of the common diseases (malaria, gastroenteritis, chest infections, skin diseases, gonorrhoea, and schistosomiasis) shows that infection follows the pattern of rainfall, and that there are some differences between the pattern of these common diseases and the common ailments reported by the villagers located away from the dispensaries. A suggestion is made for the introduction of primary health workers to meet the health needs of the villagers, 60% of whom have not received dispensary services.
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