New Delhi: In a tantalizing revelation, it has surfaced that over 52% Indians indulge in self-medication, a practice bearing severe health risks and a trend that is increasing due to either time constraints or the perception of doing away with the doctors’ fees, a survey conducted by Lybrate, India’s fastest growing doctor-patient end-to-end communication platform, shows.
In the wake of the disturbing outcome of the survey, in which over 20,000 respondents were reached out to in 10 cities across India, Lybrate has taken up the cudgels for crusading against the practice prevalent so deeply in India, something for which people relatively do not care much about. To take its fight to the people, the company today launched a nationwide campaign – Say No to Self Medication – to spread awareness about the ill effects of self-medication.
There have been numerous studies worldwide that show how taking un-prescribed medicines time and again make the body resistant to antibiotics. Besides, there have been instances where such a thoughtless practice has caused health problems ranging from liver damage, stroke and ulcers to kidney failure, miscarriage and diarrhea, among many others. Sometimes, the damage is irreversible and such unpleasant happenings due to lack of awareness make self-medication a bigger problem in front of the humanity.
Understanding the gravity of the situation, the doyen of the medical field Dr (Prof) Jagdish Prasad, Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has thrown his weight behind the campaign, in his bid to make people take the message with utter seriousness.
“In India, self medication undoubtedly is a big problem. People do not check with doctors before taking a pill in cases of minor health problems. They take medicines on their own, forgetting that this might have adverse effect on their health. Given the scenario, the launch of the campaign is a great initiative. Lybrate’s technology-driven platform will also help in connecting patients with doctors,” said Dr Prasad.
In India, easy availability of over the counter drugs for minor health ailments are leading to the menace of self-medication. People take pills based on the suggestion of chemists, friends or just by themselves depending upon their past experiences. The Internet boom has further worsened the situation with people going online to search about possible options of medicines for their health problems.
The practice of self-medication is rampant in India. People fail to understand that this carelessness does them more harm than good. Going into the reasons, people usually do not see the doctor to avoid spending money on doctor’s fees for a health problem they think is non-trivial. This is when they expose themselves to risks by going in for medication on their own. What they forget is that these minor problems could well be a sign of a major health issue, which could be diagnosed only upon visiting a doctor. Seeing the doctor, thus, is very important. The advice of the health expert is paramount as they are the guardians of our health.
During the campaign, the company will touch base with over 2000 chemists in Delhi-NCR, educating and urging them to spread the campaign message to their customers and peers. The campaign will also be run on the social media involving to garner maximum attention.
“We noticed that there were so many campaigns on serious issues related to health but there were none on self-medication, which is no less severe. This is when we conducted the survey and the results were shocking. There is an urgent need to arrest the trend and apprise the people about the harmful effects of self-medication. At Lybrate, we have taken upon ourselves to educate people about the severe issue of being their own doctors and putting themselves at risk. Apart from that, with our technological initiative we are increasing the people’s access to doctors for free, thereby letting technology play a major role in containing the issue of self medication in a huge way. Also, the important link for our campaign is the chemists who sell drugs to people and so we are asking them to support the campaign and make it successful. We will start from Delhi-NCR and take the campaign to other parts going forward,” said Mr Saurabh Arora, Chief Executive Officer, Lybrate.
Lybrate has also created an exclusive portal – www.SayNoToSelfMedication.org, where all the information related to the self-medication, its harms and do’s and don’ts of it are available in detail for the general public.
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