Level and Correlates of Self-medication among Adults in a Rural Setting of Mainland Tanzania
Department of Epidemiology/ Biostatistics, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam 65015, Tanzania
Department of Epidemiology/ Biostatistics, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam 65015, Tanzania, E-mail: email@example.com
A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the proportion of adults practicing self-medication in a rural setting of Tanzania. Using a structured interview schedule, we interviewed adults (aged at least 18 years) living in two selected wards. Data analysis involved descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis. Among 474 study participants, 364 (76.8%) reported having experienced illnesses during the past three months before the survey. Among these, 236 (64.8%) reported having practiced self-medication. The main reported reason behind this practice was lack of money to consult a medical doctor. The major reported self-medication drugs include antipyretics 167 (58.2%), analgesics 162 (56.4%) and antimalarials 118 (41.1%). Use of antibiotics was reported by 51 (17.8%) participants. Self-medication was significantly associated with sex, education status and occupation of the respondent. Males had almost twice odds to practice self-medication as compared to females, Adjusted odds ratio was 1.9 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.4). Also, respondents with incomplete primary education had about four odds to practice self-medication than those without formal education. Although there were few participants reporting use of antibiotics, we recommend health educators to enhance understanding of benefits and possible risks associated with self-medication. Also, we recommend a study to examine the attitudes associated with self-medication practices.