‘Avoid using drugs without proper prescription’

THE public especially youth have been advised to shun the habit of using medical drugs without consulting health experts   so as to avoid the side effects which may occur including antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobials resistance is the process where microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites change over time and become resistant to treatment drugs.

The advice   was given recently, by a research expert from Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (KCRI) at the KCMC Zonal Referral Hospital (KCMC ZRH) Ms Mariana Shayo during a special camp to provide awareness education on various   health issues to students from Reginald Mengi Secondary School located within Moshi Municipality, in Kilimanjaro Region.

“Antimicrobials resistance is one of the global public health threats which has been facing people, most people who have been using medicines without doctor’s prescription,” she said.

“You can find a person who after experiencing even a normal pain caused by fatigue, decides to go and buy medicines without getting any advice from health experts; if one continues with that behaviour for a long time it may cause drug resistance “, she said, adding, such situation is dangerous because if the drugs are not working the results are very bad for one’s health.

She explained other reasons that lead to drug resistance as inappropriate use of antimicrobials taking (underdose or over dose), lack of clean water and sanitation as well as the inadequate infection prevention and control which she said promotes the spread of microbes, some of which can be resistant to antimicrobial treatment.

Commenting on the camp, Ms Shayo said it was organised by KCRI in collaboration with Sequencing Tanzania project with funding from Denmark and that it aimed to provide education to students in different schools and the community in general, to create a generation with a positive understanding about the correct use of medicines and health issues in general.

“In addition to education given to students and the community in general, this project is also aimed at building capacity for laboratories of the selected regional hospitals so that they can conduct research which will detect epidemic diseases, including those caused by climate changes and on how to deal with them”, she added.

In his presentation during the educational seminar, a psychology and mental health expert Dr Aloyce Ambokile from the KCMC Zonal Referral Hospital, said lack of self-confidence among many people, including the youth, was one of the causes of mental health related challenges.

“People who have a challenge of not having self-confidence find themselves in deep stress; A person like this needs help, otherwise he or she can take decisions that are not good which can harm himself or herself or anyone else”, he said.

Dr Ambokile advised anyone who sees his or her colleague in an unusual situation to ask him or her because doing so may be of great help him.

“When you see a colleague in such a situation don’t hesitate to ask him or her concerning the situation because by doing so you may end up helping him by serving his life, you will be part of the change in his or her life”, he said.

In her opening remarks, the Head of the KCRI laboratory, Professor Irene Kiwelu, advised young people to make good use of social networks, whereby she warned them that, failing to do so, they will find themselves in a difficult time including destroying their future.

“Technological changes have brought many successes but to others it has brought negative impacts these changes have been the source of many young people destroying their lives and even losing them including committing suicide”, she said.

She added, “All this is due to the fact that many youth prefer to act and live the kind of life they see in  social media…if young people are not careful, they will find that the good future they are expecting in life are interrupted by contents they get through social networks that does not take into account the good values and ethics”

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