Self-diagnosis is not a good idea
Post by Rising Kashmir on Monday, August 28, 2023
Health is an important domain on which governments are ordained to show lasting commitments. It is universal, as governments in the last 50 years or so have been trying to improve health of the citizens by overpowering and defeating diseases and health hazards. The investment has been in the form of hospitals, health care units, dispensaries, etc. It has been also in the form of research, expanding knowledge base and advancing the field of medical sciences. Today, a common person knows about several medications, administration of drugs and names of medicines, generic as well as branded. This is again a universal phenomenon and not just a case in Jammu and Kashmir or any state in India or any state outside India. Expanding knowledge about medicines and administrations has in fact helped governments as it has reduced the dependency on the state institutions and therefore governments. This phenomenon of self-medication has been rather used to tackle certain type of emergencies where a qualified health expert like doctor cannot reach on time or a patient cannot avail needed medical care immediately. However, self-medication is also fraught with dangers. It is a common practice now that pharmaceutical units produce two types of medicines and drugs – over the counter medicine and prescription drugs. Over the counter medicines sold may be used as self-medication but prescription drugs are only meant for selling to those who have been instructed or advised by a qualified authority. As people learn about diseases and medicines many try to self-apply this information or suggest it to others. For minor problems it may serve the purpose but it is a danger for a non-qualified to advise and suggest a person any drug or medicine. In J&K, medicine stores, also called chemist shops, are often found selling prescription drugs without checking the prescriptions. Antibiotics are sold to anybody who can speak out the name on the selling counter. Self-medication and use of broad-spectrum antibiotics has become common. But as health experts have been warning, it is a dangerous trend as their overuse reduces efficacy and makes infections or disease-causing agents resistant. There has to be strong regulation on the use of antibiotics and on self-medication. In other cases, as we know, wrong diagnosis and drug administration can cause adverse reactions in a patient and therefore put his life at risk. The government does an extensive campaign on diseases like polio, malaria, dengue, hepatitis infections, etc. It should also tackle the menace of self-medication and regulation of drug sale by including them in the list.