Dr Okechukwu Ossai, the Hospital Administrator, Enugu State Hospital Management Board, has urged Nigerians to avoid self-medication and adhere to doctors’ prescriptions for treatment to prevent health complications.
Ossai gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Enugu.
He said that the risks of self-medication include incorrect self-diagnosis, delay in seeking medical advice when needed, incorrect manner of administration, incorrect choice of therapy, among others.
The doctor said that these could lead to complicated health challenges, describing self-medication as the selection and use of medicines chosen by patients themselves for treatment.
Ossai said that the percentage of Nigerians involved in self-medication was high, because for many, once they begin to feel sick, they presume it to be a symptom of malaria.
“We have been talking about health complications associated with self-medication, where somebody will just wake up and anything he feels, he will go and take anti-malaria.
“They take the drugs based on their choice dose, so they prescribe for themselves.
“For example, if it is a malaria drug that has a three-day dose, they may take it just once and stop, or if it is three tablets, they may take two and tell you it is too much and stop.
“We do not use a single dose drug to treat malaria because of established case of resistance and that is how we came about the use of combination therapy, which is artemisinin-combination based therapies.
“The single dose of malaria drugs are meant to prevent malaria and not for treatment of malaria,” he said.
He called on the public to always visit the hospitals whenever they are sick.