EDITORIAL: Sensitise public on dangers of self-medication

Medics have warned of increasing drug resistance as a result of inappropriate use of drugs. The medics were speaking during a one-day workshop on antimicrobial resistance organised by the Rwanda Medical Association in Kigali at the weekend.

Medics have warned of increasing drug resistance as a result of inappropriate use of drugs.

The medics were speaking during a one-day workshop on antimicrobial resistance organised by the Rwanda Medical Association in Kigali at the weekend.

However, self-medication has been cited as one of the biggest causes of drug resistance and this has been perpetuated by pharmacies which sell drugs to people without prescription from doctors.

 Although pharmacies are supposed to dispense medicine to someone with prescription from medical personnel, many sell drugs to individuals without a prescription note.

This is a dangerous trend, which should be addressed by the concerned authorities.  The red flag raised by medics should be addressed urgently to avoid fatalities that may result from self-medication and other cases of mishandling drugs.

While medicine can save life, it can also turn into fast killing poison if mishandled or taken without medical advice.

One of the most used drugs are antibiotics, which people casually pick from pharmacies without visiting a medical facility for diagnosis. Medical experts say self-medication can lead to a wrong prescription of genuine medicine or a reaction from a drug which can be fatal.

This is why a renewed drive should be carried out to sensitise pharmacists on the dangers of dispensing drugs to any one without prescription from the doctor. In the past, it was hard to get medicine from a pharmacy without first visiting a doctor, but today people just walk into a pharmacy and walk out with drugs.

There is also need to sensitise the public on why they should visit a medical facility instead of resorting to self-medication.

Research shows that self medication can lead to adverse reactions and should be avoided at all times. It is risky for non-medical personnel to prescribe medication.

 

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