Opinions Sun, 14 Jun 2020

Stop self-medication, because it kills

Some of the deaths occurring on daily basis among Ghanaians could possibly be the result of self-medication. What then is self-medication, one may ask? It is by definition " the use of medicine without medical supervision to treat one's own ailment".

Let us assume you are suffering from a sudden terrible stomachache. Mr "A" walks in to find you screaming and wriggling on the floor. He is told you are suffering from stomach pains. He is not a medical doctor but without knowing the full cause of your sickness ends up giving you some of the tablets in his pocket that were once prescribed for him by a doctor to treat his stomach problems. Is what caused his illness the same as the one causing yours? Even if the symptoms are similar, or the fact that it is stomachache, does not mean the medicine that cured him could be good to treat yours.

If the medicine happens not to be good for your illness and reacts badly to your body when used, you could end up complicating your situation or dying. If it is not of herbal-base genuinely and expertly prepared by our elders or parents who are knowledgeable about traditional herbal medicines which are without side effects, please don't take them.

Two weeks ago, a former nurse in Ghana who should have known better, went into a Kumasi market to voluntarily measure the blood pressure of some of the market women. She always carries a sphygmomanometer (consisting of a stethoscope, arm cuff, pump and dial) or a Wrist-Blood-Pressure-Monitor-BP-Tester on her. After measuring their blood pressure, she found that one of them who happens to be her relative has a very high blood pressure. She gave her two tablets of the blood pressure medication prescribed for her by a doctor to control her own blood pressure.

When her sister took it, after about thirty minutes, she felt dizzy and nearly fainted. She was rushed home and the next day was taken to hospital. The doctors told her if she had stayed home for thirty minutes longer, she would have passed away. They commended her for coming to the hospital, telling them what happened and what drug she took, although not mentioning who gave the drug to her.

I am not going into the details of this true story. However, let me alert Ghanaians to the dangers of self-medication and the sharing of drugs prescribed for others to treat their similar health condition as yours.

Let me take this opportunity to advise Ghanaians against their infatuation with sex-enhancers. Marriage or boy & girlfriend relationship is not all about sexual intercourse and how best and long you can last in bed as it is erroneously being advertised and admonished on Ghana airwaves. There is more in life to sexual intercourse. Why can't the Ghanaian man and woman take their eyes off libido for a second but their lives seem to revolve around having good sexual intercourse all the time?

Are we serious in life? Do we anticipate playing a positive role to making the world any better and if yes, why this daily talk on the airwaves about having good sexual intercourse to get partners happy? Are we not ashamed that Ghana has been tagged as a country where the men and women are senselessly craving for sex hence selling so many brands of sexual enhancing bitters with all the additional rubbish but dangerous concoctions coming from China for same objective.
Columnist: Rockson Adofo