Kenyans warned against self medication

April 15, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – Medical experts have cautioned Kenyans against self medication for ailments that appear not serious to warrant a visit to a specialist.

The head of Malaria Control division at the Ministry of Public Health Elizabeth Juma said on Wednesday that it was important for patients to get proper diagnosis and prescription at all times.

“It is not just a problem with malaria. We need behavioral change. When we have a headache, all of us try to make a diagnosis and you always go to a kiosk to seek treatment,” Mrs Juma said. “The impact of this is twofold; if you had a life-threatening condition, you might treat malaria when you have high blood pressure that might kill you.”

She was speaking ahead of the World Malaria Day to be marked on April 25 where she urged everyone to seek medical attention immediately they fall ill.

“If you continue to look for malaria medicine, you are delaying the diagnosis and treatment of another condition that may afflict you,” she pointed out. “Self prescription is harmful to your health for any medical condition including malaria.”

Meanwhile, Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo has encouraged all Kenyans to fill in or drain all potential mosquito breeding sites in a bid to reduce cases of malaria.

She said doing this was the first step towards the reduction of the scourge.

“These open places include quarries and pits excavated for brick making, pits left after road constructions and small pot holes,” she said.

The Minister took the opportunity to also take stock of the country’s progress in the fight against malaria.

“Where we are today is miles ahead of where we were 10 years ago. 46 percent of children below five years sleep under insecticide treated nets although our target is 80 percent,” she acknowledge.

World Malaria Day is a day of unified commemoration of the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world.

This year\’s World malaria Day marks a critical moment in time since the international malaria community has less than a year to meet the 2010 targets of delivering effective and affordable protection and treatment to all people at risk of malaria, as called for by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.

Reducing the impact of malaria would significantly propel efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals agreed by every United Nations member states.

These include not only the goal of combating the disease itself, but also goals related to women\’s and children\’s rights and health, access to education and the reduction of extreme poverty.


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