Original Research

Self-medication against COVID-19 in health workers in Conakry, Guinea

Abdoulaye Toure, Saidouba C. Camara, Alioune Camara, Mamoudou Conde, Alexandre Delamou, Ibrahima Camara, Salifou T. Bangoura, Alimou Camara, Mamadou B. Diallo, Mamadou B. Keita, Kaba Kourouma, Robert Camara, Jean-Francois Etard, Alpha-Kabinet Keita
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 13, No 2 | a443 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2022.2082 | © 2024 Abdoulaye Toure, Saidouba C. Camara, Alioune Camara, Mamoudou Conde, Alexandre Delamou, Ibrahima Camara, Salifou T. Bangoura, Alimou Camara, Mamadou B. Diallo, Mamadou B. Keita, Kaba Kourouma, Robert Camara, Jean-Francois Etard, Alpha-Kabinet Keita | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2024 | Published: 26 July 2022

About the author(s)

Abdoulaye Toure, Centre de Recherche et de Formation en Infectiologie de Guinée (CERFIG), Université Gamal Abdel Nasser, Conakry, Guinea; Chaire de Santé Publique, Université Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry, Conakry, Guinea; and, Institut National de Santé Publique, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea
Saidouba C. Camara, Centre de Recherche et de Formation en Infectiologie de Guinée (CERFIG), Université Gamal Abdel Nasser, Conakry, Guinea
Alioune Camara, Chaire de Santé Publique, Université Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry, Conakry, Guinea; and, Programme National de Lutte contre le Paludisme, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea
Mamoudou Conde, Institut National de Santé Publique, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea
Alexandre Delamou, Chaire de Santé Publique, Université Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry, Conakry, Guinea; and, Centre d’Excellence Africain de Prévention et de Contrôle des Maladies Transmissibles, Université Gamal Abdel Nasser, Conakry, Guinea
Ibrahima Camara, Centre de Recherche et de Formation en Infectiologie de Guinée (CERFIG), Université Gamal Abdel Nasser, Conakry, Guinea
Salifou T. Bangoura, Centre de Recherche et de Formation en Infectiologie de Guinée (CERFIG), Université Gamal Abdel Nasser, Conakry, Guinea
Alimou Camara, Institut National de Santé Publique, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea
Mamadou B. Diallo, Institut National de Santé Publique, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea
Mamadou B. Keita, Institut National de Santé Publique, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea
Kaba Kourouma, Institut National de Santé Publique, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea
Robert Camara, Institut National de Santé Publique, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea
Jean-Francois Etard, TransVIHMI, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Université de Montpellier, INSERM, Montpellier, France
Alpha-Kabinet Keita, Centre de Recherche et de Formation en Infectiologie de Guinée (CERFIG), Université Gamal Abdel Nasser, Conakry, Guinea; Institut National de Santé Publique, Ministere de la Santé, Conakry, Guinea; and, TransVIHMI, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Université de Montpellier, INSERM, Montpellier, France

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Abstract

Data regarding the prevalence and consequences of self-medication during the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa are very limited. The study aimed to explore the frequency and risk factors of self-medication against COVID-19 by health personnel in this study. This cross-sectional study took place in June 2021, in Conakry, in the all three national hospitals and the six community medical centers, and five primary health centers. A multivariate logistic regression model was performed to identify factors associated with self-medication. A total of 975 health workers with a median age of 31 (IQR: 27-40) years, with 504 (51.7%) women were included. The majority were clinicians: physicians (33.1%) or nurses (33.1%). Of all, 46.2% reported having had at least one COVID-19 symptom during the 12 months preceding the survey. The proportion of self-medication was 15.3% among national hospital staff, 12.20% in municipality medical centers and 22.6% in primary health centers (p=0.06). More than two-thirds (68.7%) who selfmedicated did not have a test for SARSCoV- 2 infection. They took antibiotics including azithromycin, amoxicillin, ampicillin (42.2%), acetaminophen (37.4%), vitamin C (27.9%), hydroxychloroquine (23.8%) and medicinal plants (13.6%). The median duration of self-medication was 4 days. Fatigue or asthenia, sore throat, loss of smell and sore throat of a close person were independently associated with selfmedication. Health care workers largely practiced self-medication during the Covid pandemic and without diagnostic testing. The results suggest the need for training and sensitization of medical personnel to avoid the consequences of the molecules used, including hepatotoxicity and antibiotic resistance.


Keywords

SARS Cov-2; self-medication; COVID-19; health workers

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