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Abstract

SELF-MEDICATION PRACTICES AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS IN BELIZE: A NATIONWIDE CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY

Danladi Chiroma Husaini*, David Datiba Mphuthi, Yusuf Abubakar and Augustine Domingo

ABSTRACT

Background: With increased access to information and advertisements via the internet, college students are likely to be involved in self-medication practices that may result in increased resistance to antibiotics, adverse drug reactions, interactions and or other complications associated with self-medication. We conducted a self-reported assessment on self-medication among college students in Belize with a view to provide a baseline data on the knowledge and practices of self-medication and evaluate the reasons for selfmedication among young people in the country of Belize. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was utilized to collect data from 600 college students across 9 colleges in the country of Belize. Data was collected randomly using convenience-sampling methods via a verified questionnaire from August to December 2017. 539 questionnaires were returned and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results were presented in frequencies and percentages. Results: The distribution of respondents evaluated were as follows, 55% were females while 45% were males. Majority 234 (44%) of the student’s first response when sick was to selfmedicate because of convenience, 168 (38.7%) or cost 150 (34.6%). 71.2% of the students indicated that they self-medicate which represents 366 students out of the total surveyed. Most commonly self-medicated drugs reported were Analgesics 273 (50.5%) and Antibiotics 157 (29.2%) while pain 165 (30.8%), headaches 147 (27.3) and infections 145 (27.0%) were the common ailments students reported to self-medicate. Conclusion: The result of this study indicated college students reporting practicing self-medication with various medications inclusive of antibiotics. With the ease of accessibility to many medications especially antibiotics in Belize, college students involved in indiscriminate self-medication especially with antibiotics are likely going to be exposed to adverse drug reactions, bacterial resistance and drug interactions. There is need for proper implementation of antibiotics drug act and enlightenment of the young population on rational self-medication in Belize.

Keywords: Medication use; Self-medication; college students; Belize.


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