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Assessment of self-medication practices in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak in Togo

Abstract : Background: To date, there is no effective treatment for COVID-19, which is a pandemic disease, caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. In Togo, where four in five people practice self-medication, the absence of a cure for COVID-19 and the constant progression of the disease requires an assessment of self-medication patterns in the context of the pandemic. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of self-medication to prevent COVID-19 and its associated factors in Lomé, Togo. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Lomé, the capital city of Togo, from April 23rd to May 8th, 2020, with a sample of participants from five sectors: the healthcare, air transport, police, road transport and informal sectors. The participants were invited to provide information about their self-medication practices to prevent COVID-19 in the 2 weeks preceding the survey. Results: A total of 955 participants (71.6% men) with a median age of 36 (IQR 32-43) were included. Approximately 22.1% were in the air transport sector, 20.5% were in the police sector, and 38.7% were in the health sector. The overall prevalence of self-medication to prevent COVID-19 was 34.2% (95% CI: 31.2-37.3%). The most commonly used products were vitamin C (27.6%) and traditional medicine (10.2%). Only 2.0% of participants reported using chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine. Female sex (aOR=1.90; p< 0.001), work in the health sector (aOR=1.89; p= 0.001), secondary education level (aOR= 2.28; p= 0.043) and university education level (aOR= 5.11; p< 0.001) were associated with self-medication. Conclusion: One-third of the individuals in high-risk populations in Lomé practiced self-medication. Intensifying awareness campaigns is crucial to fight misinformation about alleged COVID-19 prevention products on social media.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03218291
Contributor : Odile Malbec <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 2:53:03 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 7, 2021 - 3:36:01 AM

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Arnold Sadio, Fifonsi Gbeasor-Komlanvi, Rodion Konu, Akila Bakoubayi, Martin Tchankoni, et al.. Assessment of self-medication practices in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak in Togo. BMC Public Health, BioMed Central, 2021, 21 (1), pp.58. ⟨10.1186/s12889-020-10145-1⟩. ⟨inserm-03218291⟩

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