Prevalence, determinants and knowledge of antibacterial self-medication: A cross sectional study in North-eastern Tanzania.

Horumpende PG 1 , Said SH 1 , Mazuguni FS 2 , Antony ML 3 , Kumburu HH 1 , Sonda TB 1 , Mwanziva CE 4 , Mshana SE 5 , Mmbaga BT 6 , Kajeguka DC 1 , Chilongola JO 1 Affiliations 6 authors 1. Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Biology, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. 1 author 2. Department of Public Health and Research, Ifakara Health Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 1 author 3. Department of Parasitology and Entomology, National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 1 author 4. Department of Preventive Medicine and Research, Lugalo General Military Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 1 author 5. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, Mwanza, Tanzania. 1 author 6. Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Biology, Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
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Self-medication is very common especially in developing countries and is documented to be associated with many health risks including antibiotic resistance. This study investigated the prevalence, determinants and knowledge of self-medication among residents of Siha District in Tanzania. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 300 residents in a rural District of Kilimanjaro region, North-eastern Tanzania from 1st to 28th April 2017. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information regarding drugs used, knowledge, history and reasons for antibiotic self-medication. Log-binomial regression analysis was done using STATA 13 to examine factors associated with self-medication. A slightly majority of the respondents (58%) admitted to self-medication. Antibiotics most commonly utilized were amoxycillin (43%) and an antiprotozoal drug metronidazole (10%). The most common symptoms that led to self-medication were cough (51.17%), headache/ fever/ malaria (25.57%) and diarrhoea (21.59%). The most common reasons for self-medication were emergency illness (24.00%), health facility charges (20.33%), proximity of pharmacy to home (17.00%) and no reason (16.66%). Almost all reported that self-medication is not better than seeking medical consultation, 98% can result into harmful effects and 96% can result to drug resistance. The level of self-medication in this study is comparable with findings from other studies in developing countries. Pharmacies were commonly used as the first point of medical care. There is therefore a need for educative antibiotic legislative intervention to mitigate the adverse effects of antibiotic self-medication in Siha district in Tanzania.