Dr Ivan Kabuye, a general practitioner at the International Hospital Kampala, said increasingly, many Ugandans are self-medicating, especially on anti-malarials, pain killers and skin lightening creams for women.
PIC: Senior-midwife at IMG Beatrice Kiyuba educating staff about the different methods of family planning. (Credit: Vivian Agaba)
KAMPALA - Due to the high cost involved in seeing a medical doctor, many Ugandans have resorted to self-medication, something that could put their lives in danger.
The warning was made by Dr Ivan Kabuye, a general practitioner at the International Hospital Kampala. He said increasingly, many Ugandans are self-medicating, especially on anti-malarials, pain killers and skin lightening creams for women.
Kabuye explained that when one experiences body pains, it is a communication that something is wrong and doing self-medication could mean over or under treating self, treating something one is not certain of and delay in seeking right treatment increases the burden of the disease.
“Self-medication does not only lead to drug resistance, especially when a drug is used for a long time, but also means postponement of treatment for actual disease as it continues to grow. This also increases chances of death for illnesses like cancer,” he said.
“The economy is hard and that is why many Ugandans self-medicate. But it is important to seek for proper medical care from trained health personnel,” Kabuye added.
Meanwhile, he talked about Ugandans who still believe that malaria is caused by rain, noting that it is not true, but a myth.
Kabuye explained that malaria, which is spread by the bite of an infected anopheles mosquito, spreads more during the rainy season because mosquitoes have more bleeding grounds due to stagnant waters and puddles, resulting in the rise in number of mosquitoes.
Kabuye encouraged people to sleep under treated mosquito nets, close windows and doors early, get rid of stagnant water, as measures to keep away malaria.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health show that malaria is still the leading cause of death in Uganda, accounting for over 27% of deaths.
He was speaking during the end of the wellness week for the staff of International Medical Group (IMG) held at IHK on Friday. There were free health services such as HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, breast, cervical and prostate cancer screening and family planning, among others.
The head of human resources at IMG, Aidah Naisanga, said the wellness week was aimed at promoting a healthy team, adding that staff is the most valuable assets of any organisation and as such, their well-being is important.
Antenatal care visits
The senior midwife, IMG, Beatrice Kiyuba welcomed the move by the Government to increase antenatal care visits from four to eight times during pregnancy, saying it would give health workers ample time to monitor expectant mothers.
“Every week or month, changes occur during pregnancy and health workers need ample time to follow up these expectant mothers, monitor them so that in case a problem arises, it is attended to early and expectant mothers can have safe pregnancies.,” she said.