Self-medication practices in Khartoum State, Sudan
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The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of self-medication with proprietary medicines and herbs in Khartoum State, Sudan, and to evaluate factors associated with self-medication.
A pre-piloted questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 1,200 individuals, selected from all three cities of Khartoum State using a multistage stratified clustered sampling.
The response rate was 83.3%. Medicines, including herbs, were used by 81.8% of the respondents without a medical consultation within 2 months prior to the study period. Proprietary medicines alone were used by 28.3% (CI: 25.6–31.2), herbs alone by 20.7% (CI: 18.3–23.4), while 32.8% (CI: 29.9–35.8) had used both. Self-medication with proprietary medicines was least common with the middle-aged (OR: 0.12; 0.09–0.17), the elderly (OR: 0.29; 0.20–0.42) and low level of education [illiterate (OR: 0.26, 0.18–0.37) and primary/intermediate school (OR: 0.07, 0.04–0.11)]. It was most associated with low (OR: 5.3; 3.8–7.4) and middle income (OR: 4.3; 3.1–5.9), but no gender difference was found (P>0.05). Self-medication behaviour with herbs was most associated with middle-age (OR: 1.7; 1.3–2.2), female gender (OR: 2.2 (1.7–2.8) and lowest income earners (OR: 2.5; 1.9–3.5).
The prevalence of self-medication with medicines including herbs in urban areas of Khartoum State is high. Self-medication behaviour varies significantly with a number of socio-economic characteristics. Our findings have major public health policy implications for countries like Sudan.
KeywordsHerbs Proprietary medicines Self-medication Sudan
We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to those who participated in the data collection and without their great efforts this work would not have been achieved. We would like also to thank Dr Eman Abu-Hussain for her advice and assistance in the statistical analysis of the data.
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