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Self-Medication with Anti-malarials is a Common Practice in Rural Communities of Kilosa district in Tanzania Despite the Reported Decline of Malaria.

Chipwaza, B., Mugasa, J. P., Mayumana, I., Amuri, M., Makungu, C. and Gwakisa, P. S. (2014) Self-Medication with Anti-malarials is a Common Practice in Rural Communities of Kilosa district in Tanzania Despite the Reported Decline of Malaria. Malaria journal, 13 (1). p. 252. ISSN 1475-2875

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Self-medication has been widely practiced worldwide particularly in developing countries including Tanzania. In sub-Saharan Africa high incidences of malaria have contributed to self-medication with anti-malarial drugs. In recent years, there has been a gain in malaria control, which has led to decreased malaria transmission, morbidity and mortality. Therefore, understanding the patterns of self-medication during this period when most instances of fever are presumed to be due to non-malaria febrile illnesses is important. In this study, self-medication practice was assessed among community members and information on the habit of self-medication was gathered from health workers. Twelve focus group discussions (FGD) with members of communities and 14 in-depth interviews (IDI) with health workers were conducted in Kilosa district, Tanzania. The transcripts were coded into different categories by MaxQDA software and then analysed through thematic content analysis. The study revealed that self-medication was a common practice among FGD participants. Anti-malarial drugs including sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine and quinine were frequently used by the participants for treatment of fever. Study participants reported that they visited health facilities following failure of self-medication or if there was no significant improvement after self-medication. The common reported reasons for self-medication were shortages of drugs at health facilities, long waiting time at health facilities, long distance to health facilities, inability to pay for health care charges and the freedom to choose the preferred drugs. This study demonstrated that self-medication practice is common among rural communities in the study area. The need for community awareness is emphasized for correct and comprehensive information about drawbacks associated with self-medication practices. Deliberate efforts by the government and other stakeholders to improve health care services, particularly at primary health care facilities will help to reduce self-medication practices.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Self-medication, Rural communities, Anti-malarials, Kilosa, Tanzania
Subjects: Malaria > Surveillance, monitoring, evaluation
Divisions: Ifakara Health Institute > Interventions
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2014 07:42
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2014 07:42

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