Malaria self-medication among students of a Nigerian Tertiary Institution
Background: Malaria causes about 350 to 500 infections in humans and approximately 1.3 million deaths annually, mainly in the tropics. Sub Saharan Africa accounts for 85% of these fatalities. In many developing countries up to 60% - 80% of the health problems are treated by self medication The disease is often treated in Nigeria by self medication.
Objective: To ascertain the prevalence and practice of malaria self medication among the undergraduates of Nigeria tertiary institution.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional descriptive survey was carried out among 250 undergraduates of the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus. A simple random sampling method was used to select the students. Sample size was calculated using a previous prevalence. Instrument of data collection was a self administered questionnaire.
Results: Two hundred and forty students 240(96%) suffer from malaria; and 160(67%) practice self medication. One hundred and fifty students (60%) believe self medication should be discouraged and most of them 98(55.4%) believe it encourages drug abuse.
Conclusion: The students treat themselves when they believe they have malaria. Most of them believe self medication should be discouraged. I therefore recommend a drug education intervention to curb the menace of self medication for malaria among our undergraduates.