Factors Responsible For Self Medication Among The Indigenes Of Ekosodin

Project and Seminar Material for Environmental Science

Factors Responsible For Self Medication Among The Indigenes Of Ekosodin


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the factors responsible for self medication among the indigenes of Ekosodin in Ovia North East Local Government Area, Edo State. The study was carried out to find out the factors responsible for the incidence of self-medication so that solutions can be proffered for its control and regulation in the immediate community, nation and world at large. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of indigenes of Ekosodin in Ovia North East Local Government Area, Edo State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 147 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. The result of the findings reveals that lack of accessibility of the community members to health facilities and services are responsible for their self-medication practices. The study also revealed that the preference for traditional medicine over orthodox medicine by members of the community is responsible for their self-medication practices. Therefore, it is recommended that the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Health Service, in collaboration with WHO must embark on an educational program to educate the public in general specifically of the dangers of self-medicating with herbal drugs, especially since they are perceived by users as safe, even though they can actually have detrimental effects on the health. To mention but a few.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

In the past few years, self-medication has spread widely throughout the world. This is partly due to the fact that people are increasingly taking responsibility for their own health. On the other hand, social security is inadequate and not able to cover the growing expenses and so backs up the idea of self-medication out of financial consideration.

Ekosodin, the community in which the study is being carried out, is a small community located in Ovia North-East Local Government Area in Edo State, Nigeria. It is mostly populated by students and staff of the University of Benin due to its proximity to the campus. The indigenes of the community are mostly farmers, petty traders and artisans such as carpenters, hairdressers, tailors, welders, etc.
It has been observed generally that people will rather purchase over-the-counter drugs from a pharmacy than go to the hospital to consult a doctor for diagnosis of symptoms and prescription. Therefore some drugs have been removed from the category of prescription drugs and put under the over-the-counter drugs category. Consequently, people experiencing milder symptoms do not need to see a doctor because they can see the pharmacist for advice and medication for the ailment. This goes further to point out the fact that the advisory function of the pharmacist is becoming more prominent, giving the doctor more time to attend to severe cases.

One major health concern in health care is also the excessive consumption of drugs which can lead to other health problems and situations like drug dependence, addiction and tolerance. This ahs become widespread and rampant in the developed and developing society of today. It can be controlled if drug distribution is strictly restricted to only certified pharmacies with licensed pharmacists.

Drug manufacturers, on the other hand, have not helped the situation as their chief concern is to promote the sales of the medicines and products without giving adequate information to the public on such drugs, if possible, in their local language. This is further compounded by high illiteracy levels, poverty and inadequate health facilities and personnel. In developed countries with sufficient health man-power and in some case, facilities, many people still buy non-dangerous medications without a doctor’s prescription. This practice of self-medication cuts across culture, gender, health or any other socio-demographic or socio-medical state.

Self-medication is however of public health concern because of the problem of drug misuse and abuse and its attendant medical (drug resistance and hypersensitivity), social (juvenile delinquency) and psychological (addiction and physical dependence) problems. Also, the lack of knowledge of possible side effects of self administered medication and the sale of potentially dangerous drugs as over-the-counter drugs and nostrums especially in developing and under developed countries could have negative effects on the general health of the members of the community.

This study seeks to bring to light the influencing factors responsible for the self-medication behaviour exhibited by people, using the indigenes and residents of Ekosodin as a case study, so that solutions can be proffered for its control to the barest minimum.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In recent times, the problem of self-medication, though it has its advantages and plays a key role in self care, has become widespread in the community at large among both the educated and uneducated individuals. Many people find it easier, as it were, to go to a pharmacy, chemist, medicine store or herbalist to purchase medicine to ease whatever discomfort or health issue they might be experiencing. In other cases, they will rather take health related advice from their friends, neighbours, colleagues, family members, classmates, acquaintances, etc. or rely on previous knowledge gotten from previous experiences of the same nature with the one they are currently feeling than go to a doctor or health care professional for advice, check-up, test and diagnosis or prescription.

Due to this, many have found themselves in worse health situations than they originally were with unrelieved symptoms or even life-threatening conditions. Others start experiencing physical dependence and addiction to these drugs because of the free access they have to them. Also, the practice of self medication has helped to increase the incidences of drug misuse and abuse. These can be attributed to a number of factors. This study seeks to illuminate these factors so that measures can be put in place to tackle the problems.


1.3 Research Questions

The following research questions were drawn to direct the study:

  1. Are lack of accessibility of the community members to health facilities and services responsible for their self-medication practices?
  2. Are poor implementation and enforcement of drug laws and policies regulating the sales of prescription and non-prescription medicines in the community responsible for their self-medication practices?
  3. Are unavailability and ineffective dissemination of drug information in the community responsible for their self-medication practices?
  4. Is the preference for traditional medicine over orthodox medicine by members of the community responsible for their self-medication practices?

1.4 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find out the factors responsible for the incidence of self-medication so that solutions can be proffered for its control and regulation in the immediate community, nation and world at large.


1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings or data drawn from this study will serve as a gude for Health Educators to deal appropriately with the practice of self-medication. It will also form a background or basis for further research in this area.


1.6 Delimitation of the Study

This study is delimited to studying the influencing factors responsible for the practice of self-medication among the current residents of Ekosodin community. All information or data to be collected are to be gotten from the present residents of the community only.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Self-medication:

It is taking drugs, herbs or home remedies on one’s own initiative or on the advice of another person, without consulting a doctor.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the factors responsible for self medication among the indigenes of Ekosodin in Ovia North East Local Government Area, Edo State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the factors responsible for self medication among the indigenes of Ekosodin in Ovia North East Local Government Area, Edo State. The study specifically was aimed to find out the factors responsible for the incidence of self-medication so that solutions can be proffered for its control and regulation in the immediate community, nation and world at large.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were indigenes of Ekosodin in Ovia North East Local Government Area, Edo State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. Lack of accessibility of the community members to health facilities and services are responsible for their self-medication practices.
  2. Poor implementation and enforcement of drug laws and policies regulating the sales of prescription and non-prescription medicines in the community are responsible for their self-medication practices.
  3. Unavailability and ineffective dissemination of drug information in the community are responsible for their self-medication practices.
  4. The preference for traditional medicine over orthodox medicine by members of the community is responsible for their self-medication practices.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. The Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Health Service, in collaboration with WHO must embark on an educational program to educate the public in general specifically of the dangers of self-medicating with herbal drugs, especially since they are perceived by users as safe, even though they can actually have detrimental effects on the health.
  2. Since some indigenes of Ekosodin were self-employed and private business owners, this research recommends that public health facilities provide appointment based health access services for indigenes of Ekosodin but self-employed indigenes of Ekosodin. When this is done, indigenes of Ekosodin will not have to resort to self-medication simply because they are reluctant to suffer the inconvenience of attending the hospital and leaving their businesses unattended for much of the day.
  3. This research recommends that health education and promotion educational programs must educate the public of the fact that several perceived „non-serious‟ diseases could be symptoms of much more serious underlying conditions which can only be revealed and treated in a hospital. This will change the attitude of people regarding self-medication for perceived non-serious diseases.
  4. The government of Nigeria should do more to control the advertisement and sale of herbal medicines in public places. According to the WHO (2010), when these are done in combination, they will be effective in improving the adequate use of medicines among indigenes of Ekosodin. Emphasis should be placed on the combined education of all stakeholders, the provision of adequate health care, and the control of drug sale. These approaches are less likely to be successful when used individually (WHO, 2010).
  5. The practice of community pharmacy by registered Pharmacist should be encouraged especially in areas where professional health care services are limited. The presence of such professionals ensures that the practice of selfmedication is accompanied by appropriate training on how to use medicines appropriately and effectively. Community Pharmacists can also play an active role in the provision of primary health care by attending to minor ailments and referring patients to physicians where patients require further investigation.
  6. Lastly, since family members and relatives have been revealed as important sources of self-medicated drugs and drug information, health education and health promotion programs should, in addition to targeting indigenes of Ekosodin in hospitals, target other stakeholder groups including non indigenes of Ekosodin, relatives and respected people in the community.

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