The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-017-1642-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Self-medication is a universal challenge that requires attention because of the potential threat not only to the pregnant women but also to unborn child. Data on self-medication practice and predictors among pregnant women is lacking in Tanzania. Information on the effects of this practice to the pregnant woman and the foetus globally is also scanty.
This was a cross sectional study which was conducted using face to face interview with 372 pregnant women at Makongoro health centre. Semi-structured questionnaires were used. Data were analysed using STATA 13 (Statistical Corporation, College Station, Texas, US).
A total of 372 pregnant women participated in the study. The prevalence of self-medication among pregnant women was 172 (46.24%). There was a significant statistical association between self-medication and occupation (P value =0.01), gestation age (P < 0.01) and education (P < 0.01). Age, marital status and gravidity were not associated with self-medication (P = 0.809, P = 0.243 and P = 0.922) respectively. When bivariate logistic regression was performed, occupation and education were the only determining factors for self-medication. Pregnant women who were unemployed, doing business and house wife were most likely to practice self-medication than employed pregnant women (P = 0.03; OR = 2.33; 95% CI, 1.06–5.31, P = 0.01; OR = 2.31; CI 1.21–4.41, P = <0.01, OR = 2.73, 95% CI 0.52–2.43) respectively. Pregnant women with no formal education, incomplete primary education, primary education and secondary education were most likely to practice self-medication than pregnant women with college or university education (P < 0.01, OR = 6.37 95% CI 2.37–19.03, P < 0.01, OR = 6.58, 95% CI 2.36–18.25, P < 0.01, OR = 3.78, 95% CI 1.89–7.56, P < 0.01, OR = 2.59 95% CI = 1.30–5.17). The leading illness/symptoms which led to self-medication among pregnant women attending clinic were malaria 56 (32.56%, morning sickness 44 (25.55%) and headache 33(19.19%). Drugs commonly used in self-medication among pregnant women were ant malarial 42 (24.42%), antiemetics 59 (34.30%) and analgesics 33 (19.19%).
Prevalence of self-medication among pregnant women is high in Tanzania. This is a threat to the safety of the developing foetus and the pregnant woman. Therefore there is a need of interventions to minimize the practice among pregnant women.
Additional file 1: Self-medication Questionnaire Responses. The data comprises the results of the questionnaires administered to 372 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in Tanzania to assess their self-medication practice and predictors. (DOCX 18 kb)12884_2017_1642_MOESM1_ESM.docx
Guarlink D. Webster’s new world dictionary. New Delhi, Bombay: Oxford, MBH Publishing Co; 1998.
Haider S, Thaver IH. Self medication or self care: implication for primary health care strategies. Self. 1995;
Awad A, Eltayeb I, Matowe L, Thalib L. Self-medication with antibiotics and antimalarials in the community of Khartoum state, Sudan. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2005;8(2):326–31. PubMed
Hardon A, Van der Geest S. Hazards of self-medication. World Health Forum: 1987. 1987:469–71.
Pfeiffer K, Some F, Müller O, Sie A, Kouyate B, Haefeli W, Zoungrana A, Gustafsson L, Tomson G, Sauerborn R. Clinical diagnosis of malaria and the risk of chloroquine self-medication in rural health centres in Burkina Faso. Tropical Med Int Health. 2008;13(3):418–26. CrossRef
Organization WH: Guidelines for the regulatory assessment of medicinal products for use in self-medication. 2000.
Mangesho P, Shayo E, Makunde W, Keto G, Mandara C, Kamugisha M, Kilale A, Ishengoma D. Commnity knowledge, attitudes and practices towards tberculosis and its treatment inMpwapwa district, central Tanzania. Tanzania Journal of Health Research. 2007;9(1):38–43. CrossRef
Moussally K, Bérard A. Exposure to specific herbal products during pregnancy and the risk of low birth weight. Altern Ther Health Med. 2011;18(2):36–43.
Mitri F, Hofmeyr G, Van Gelderen C: Meconium during labour--self-medication and other associations. South African medical journal=Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde 1987, 71(7):431–433.
Garofalo L, Di Giuseppe G, Angelillo IF. Self-medication practices among parents in Italy. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015
Suleman S, Ketsela A, Mekonnen Z. Assessment of self-medication practices in Assendabo town, Jimma zone, southwestern Ethiopia. Res Soc Adm Pharm. 2009;5(1):76–81. CrossRef
Afolabi A. Factors influencing the pattern of self-medication in an adult Nigerian population. Annals of African medicine. 2009;7(3):120–7. CrossRef
TYK BIDUKI. The effects of advertisement on self-medication: case study of Ejura-Sekyedumase municipality. Department of Economics, Kwame Nkrumah university of Sci Technol. 2013;
Mitchell AA. Special considerations in studies of drug-induced birth defects. In: Pharmacoepidemiology. Third ed; 2002. p. 749–63.
Wood AJ, Koren G, Pastuszak A, Ito S. Drugs in pregnancy. N Engl J Med. 1998;338(16):1128–37. CrossRef
Abrahams N, Jewkes R, Mvo Z. Indigenous healing practices and self-medication amongst pregnant women in cape town, South Africa. Afr J Reprod Health. 2002:79–86.
Cockburn R, Newton PN, Agyarko EK, Akunyili D, White NJ. The global threat of counterfeit drugs: why industry and governments must communicate the dangers. PLoS Med. 2005;2(4):302. CrossRef
Glass BD. Counterfeit drugs and medical devices in developing countries. Research and Reports in Tropical Medicine. 2014;2014:11–22. CrossRef
Kanté AM, Exavery A, Phillips JF, Jackson EF. Why women bypass front-line health facility services in pursuit of obstetric care provided elsewhere: a case study in three rural districts of Tanzania. Tropical Med Int Health. 2016;21(4):504–14. CrossRef
Gross K, Schellenberg JA, Kessy F, Pfeiffer C, Obrist B: Antenatal care in practice: an exploratory study in antenatal care clinics in the Kilombero Valley, south-eastern Tanzania. BMC pregnancy and childbirth 2011, 11(1):1.
Manzi F, Schellenberg JA, Hutton G, Wyss K, Mbuya C, Shirima K, Mshinda H, Tanner M, Schellenberg D. Human resources for health care delivery in Tanzania: a multifaceted problem. Hum Resour Health. 2012;10(1):1. CrossRef
Mashuda F, Zuechner A, Chalya PL, Kidenya BR, Manyama M. Pattern and factors associated with congenital anomalies among young infants admitted at Bugando medical centre, Mwanza, Tanzania. BMC research notes. 2014;7(1):1. CrossRef
Msaki BP, Mshana SE, Hokororo A, Mazigo HD, Morona D. Prevalence and predictors of urinary tract infection and severe malaria among febrile children attending Makongoro health centre in Mwanza city, north-western Tanzania. Archives of Public Health. 2012;70(1):1. CrossRef
Keche Y: Self Medication Use in Urban Population of Pune, Maharashtra, India. Drugs, 125:48.45.
Tarimo DS, Lwihula GK, Minjas JN, Bygbjerg I. Mothers’ perceptions and knowledge on childhood malaria in the holendemic Kibaha district, Tanzania: implications for malaria control and the IMCI strategy. Tropical Med Int Health. 2000;5(3):179–84. CrossRef
Slutsker L, Chitsulo L, Macheso A, Steketee R. Treatment of malaria fever episodes among children in Malawi: results of a KAP survey. Tropical medicine and parasitology: official organ of Deutsche Tropenmedizinische Gesellschaft and of Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ). 1994;45(1):61–4.
Deshpande S, Tiwari R. Self medication-a growing concern. Indian J Med Sci. 1997;51(3):93. PubMed
Bérard A, Ramos E, Rey E, Blais L, St-André M, Oraichi D. First trimester exposure to paroxetine and risk of cardiac malformations in infants: the importance of dosage. Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reprod Toxicol. 2007;80(1):18–27. CrossRef
de Melo MN, Madureira B, Ferreira APN, Mendes Z, da Costa Miranda A, Martins AP. Prevalence of self-medication in rural areas of Portugal. Pharm World Sci. 2006;28(1):19–25. CrossRef
Kasilo OM, Soumbey-Alley E, Wambebe C, Chatora R. Regional overview: African region. WHO Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2005:3–12.
Organization WH: Guidelines for the treatment of malaria: World Health Organization; 2015.
- Self-medication among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at Makongoro health centre in Mwanza, Tanzania: a challenge to health systems
Karol J. Marwa
- BioMed Central
Neu im Fachgebiet Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe
Meistgelesene Bücher aus dem Fachgebiet
Mail Icon II