Prevalence, patterns and predictors of self-medication with anti-malarial drugs among Cameroonian mothers during a recent illness episode
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are recommended as treatment of choice for malaria. Although the resistance to artemisinin and its derivatives has not yet been officially reported in Africa, there is growing concern that it may reach the continent. Self-medication is common among African populations and may explained drug resistance. Unfortunately, a few studies have addressed this issue in Cameroon. This study seeks to appraise the prevalence, patterns and predictors of antimalarial self-medication. A household-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016 in the town of Douala. Interviews and pretested semi-structured questionnaires were administered for collecting information from 213 mothers of under-fives. The prevalence of self-medication was 49.30%. The main reasons were “habit” (38.75%), “Lack of money” (22.48%) and “Lightness of symptoms” (13.18 %). Pharmacy (47.80%) and street medicine stores (30.19%) were the commonest drug providers. Nearly 20% of women had not respected posology although treatment was right and taken promptly. Age, level of education and curiosity on treatment were risk factors of self-medication. Our study confirms that malaria self-medication is common among women and the influence of some factors. Hence, strategies for information, education and communication should be scaled up to efficiently address self-medication in the area.
Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences (2018) 7(1), 29 - 39