Our society is one that highly believes in quick remedies and fixes when we start to feel unwell. From lemon and ginger water to fight a flu, to goggling with salt and warm water to fight tonsils amongst many more remedies. If you have x symptom there is always someone with a fix this is the dangerous habit of self-medication.
Self-medication is defined by WHO as, “the treatment of self-recognised disorders or symptoms by use of medicines without prior consultation by a qualified health professional or intermittent/continued use of medicines previously prescribed by a physician for chronic/recurring diseases.” Self-medication is more prevalent across the African continent but it is a global issue.
A study, done at Kenyatta National Hospital, “showed that 53.5% of the respondents in the focus groups had practiced self-medication with antibiotics. Self-medication with antibiotics masks the signs and symptoms of an underlying disease and hence complicates the problem, creating drug resistance and delaying diagnosis.”
Self-medication and Over the Counter drugs (OTC) have been trending in the country of late after an exposé done by a local media station showed how accessible “Strong” drugs have become in the country. The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya has come out to call for more stringent measures to check the sale of medicine over the counter, with tougher penalties for those found operating pharmacies illegally. The Pharmaceutical Society claims all medicines carry a certain side effect and if the patient doesn’t have someone to walk with to help in managing the effects, then this may become more dangerous to the individual.