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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 144-151
Pattern, awareness and perceptions of health hazards associated with self medication among adult residents of kano metropolis, northwestern Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Umar M Lawan
Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.116350

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Background: Kano State is the most populous state, and one of those states pronounced with the highest prevalence of drug abuse in Nigeria. However, there is lack of documented data to back the assertion. Objective: We determined the pattern, awareness and perceptions of the adult residents of Kano metropolis about self medication. Materials and Methods: We used a descriptive cross-sectional design to study a random sample of 380 adult in Kano metropolis. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires that were pretested outside the study area. Data analysis was with Epi Info® 3.5.1. Results: The mean age of the subjects was 35.43 ± 15.10 years, majority were males (66.32%), singles (47.11%) and had at least secondary education (67.63%). About three-quarter (78.95%) admitted using drug (s) in the past without prescription. Drugs commonly consumed were antimalarials (42.10%), analgesics (40.56%), antibiotics (29.41%), and cough mixtures (13.31%). Common sources of drugs were patent medicine stores (62.54%) and the market (19.81%). Common reasons for self medication were long queues in the hospitals (38.39%), and in-accessibility to doctors (25.08%). About two-thirds (65.00%) correctly perceived that self medication could be hazardous; and half (51.58%) were aware of at least one hazard of self medication. Conclusion/Recommendations: Irrational drug use is a growing challenge to public health in Kano, Nigeria. Thus, drug regulatory agencies in Nigeria should work together to ensure that all drug retail outlets and drug sellers are registered, controlled drugs are dispensed only on prescription of the physicians; and the laws safeguarding drug use are duly enforced. Health authorities should also strengthen efforts towards health educating the public.

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