Prevalence, patterns and determinants of self-medication among students of Abia State polytechnic, Aba, Abia state
Self-medication is the act of treating one’s self without prescription or appropriate medical supervision. It is a common practice globally and the prevalence is continuously on the increase especially in developing countries like Nigeria, where it has become a common practice among the student’s community, mainly due to absolute or relative lack of access to healthcare, easy availability and poor drug regulatory practices.
This study was aimed at assessing the Prevalence, Patterns and Determinants of Self-medication among students of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Abia state.
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study among 240 students of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, using pre-tested self- administered questionnaires. Data was collected and analyzed using SPSS version 20. The study took place between June and July 2019.
The mean age of respondents was 23±2.4 years. Nearly 60% of the study participants had good knowledge out of which 76.3% (183) practiced it mostly whenever they felt sick (40.4%). The commonest illness prompting this practice were Headache/body pain (56.8%) and fever (36.1%), hence analgesics (60.1%) were the commonest self-prescribed medication. The commonest sources of these medications were community/local pharmacies (37.2%) and patent medicine stores (31.7%). The major reasons for self-medication among respondents were that it was time saving (24%) and family influence (19.6%). Age was a significant factor influencing the practice of self-medication, p=0.022.
The knowledge and practice of Self-medication is relatively high among the students. This could present a great challenge to the health sector in terms of increased rates of drug resistance, treatment failure and deleterious effects leading to increased morbidity and mortality. These can be forestalled with regular sensitization campaigns to the students and community at large on the benefits and dangers of self-medication.