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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 189-194

Self-medication practice in Akuse, a rural setting in Ghana

1 Ghana Health Service, School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
2 USAID,DELIVER Project, School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
3 Ghana Police Hospital, School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
4 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Seth Kwabena Amponsah
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana, Box LG 43, Legon
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_87_19

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Objective: In most resource-poor settings, there is a paucity of data on self-medication and possible factors that influence this practice. The current study assesses self-medication among the people of Akuse, a rural setting in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional study was carried out in Akuse from 4th January 2016 to 27th February 2016. Using a questionnaire, interviews were conducted to assess self-medication: class of drugs taken, sources of drugs, knowledge of potential adverse effects, among others. Results: Of the 363 participants enrolled, 361 completed questionnaires administered. Of the 361 respondents, 58.4% were female. A majority of the respondents were within the ages of 30 and 45 years. Respondents were mainly farmers (40.2%), and a majority (44.6%) had primary level as the highest education. One major reason for self-medication was influence from family and friends (32.7%). Antibiotics (32.1%) and analgesics (21.0%) were the most common self-medicated drugs, and these drugs were mostly obtained from licenced chemical sellers (32.5%). A little more than a third (39.9%) of the respondents said that their condition did not change after self-medication. A greater number of the respondents (81.7%) did not have knowledge of potential adverse reactions associated with self-medicated drugs. However, respondents with high educational level had the most knowledge of adverse drug reactions. Conclusion: The study found self-medication as a common practice among a number of residents of Akuse. Findings from this study provide data that could be used for targeted education and sensitisation of self-medication and its demerits in similar resource-poor rural settings.

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