Self-medication with non-prescribed pharmaceutical agents in an area of low malaria transmission in northern Tanzania: a community-based survey.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Self-treatment with antimicrobials is common in sub-Saharan Africa. Little is known about the prevalence of this practice where malaria transmission intensity is low, and little is known about the prevalence of self-treatment with other medications such as antihypertensives and antihyperglycemics. METHODS: A two-stage randomized population-based cluster survey with selection proportional to population size was performed in northern Tanzania. Self-identified healthcare decision-makers from randomly selected households were asked to report instances of self-medication without a prescription in the preceding year. Associations between self-treatment and sociodemographic characteristics were assessed with Pearson's chi-squared and the Student's t-test. RESULTS: A total of 718 participants completed the survey, and 344 (47.9%) reported any household member obtaining medication without a prescription. Of these, 85 (11.8%) obtained an antimicrobial and four (0.6%) obtained an antihypertensive or antihyperglycemic. Of respondents reporting self-treatment, 306 (89.0%) selected the medication themselves. Self-treatment with antimicrobials was associated with post-primary education (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.22-3.16, p=0.005), younger age (43.1 vs 48.7 years, p=0.007) and higher socioeconomic status score (0.42 vs 0.34, p=0.023). CONCLUSIONS: Self-treatment with antimicrobials in an area of low malaria transmission intensity was uncommon and self-treatment with antihypertensives and antihyperglycemics was rare.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hertz, JT; Madut, DB; Tesha, RA; William, G; Simmons, RA; Galson, SW; Maro, VP; Crump, JA; Rubach, MP

Published Date

  • April 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 113 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 183 - 188

PubMed ID

  • 30597114

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6432801

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-3503

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/trstmh/try138


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England