Monday, July 26, 2010

Self Medication in Ghana

Do you trust chemists, pharmacists or should I say... behind the counter dispensers with no qualification in pharmacy or medicine to diagnose your illnesses and treat them without first seeing the doctor?
Many Ghanaians are found self-medicating at one point or another. Check an average Ghanaian's home and you will find Aspirin, Paracetamol, Efpak, Cough syrups, lozenges, Valium etc. However, is it really safe to have these because they have been advertised on TV?

Last week I saw an Alhaji something van with herbal medicines in my area of abode. The advertiser, using a megaphone claimed that a bottle of herbal bitters to cure Piles, Dysmennorhea (mentrual cramps), Infertility (in men and women), breast cancer, gonnorhea, candidiasis etc. Ebei! Talk about a multi-tasking drug.....

Now this multi-tasking medicine got me scared. I'm neither a doctor nor a pharmacist but, aren't these drugs supposed to have a varying range of active ingredients? What if some agents cause severe allergic reactions or have side effects? I remember a time when my Mom took her pills with Green Tea; it wasn't good. And that was Green Tea.

Did I mention those who buy and sell drugs on the troski? There was this one man who said that the pomade he was selling could make hair grow and also remove unwanted hair (to whom it applies scenario). Talk about marketing skills....

I know our health system isn't the best and poverty also influences the decision of the masses to go to the drug store when there is a problem but, is that a good enough justification for self medication?

Your thoughts on the issue are most welcomed.....


  1. I do the self-medicating thing. It has worked well for me and I haven't abused too any exotic chemicals yet. I stay in tune with my body so when something out of the ordinary & strange is happening to me, I go see a doctor. When its something I'm familiar with, I take what I know will work.
    Herbal medicine? I'll be a fan when chemical analysis is done instead of the guesswork by the sellers.

  2. Alternative medicine do not have therapeutic claims, so be careful when choosing them.


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