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COVID triggers self-medication

A NURSE helping a colleague wear her personal protective clothing before entering a COVID centre at the University Teaching Hospitals earlier in the year

VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
NAMAKA Namfukwe, 42, of Matero Township, almost succumbed to COVID-19 because of her habit of self-medicating whenever she is unwell.
Ms Namfukwe has always depended on her usual paracetamol for self-treatment of headache and some antibiotics when she has a fever.
Rarely does she go to hospital because the nearby drugstore where she gets medicines from is always on hand to help.
“I rarely went to the hospital because whenever I took paracetamol, I got better. I never liked going to the hospital for a check-up, until that day when I nearly died,” Ms Namfukwe shares.
When she got infected with the coronavirus, Ms Namfukwe almost lost her life for self-medicating under the assumption that she had malaria and a common cold. When she started exhibiting the symptoms, she ruled out COVID-19 because, under the influence of friends, she had been taking an antibiotic called azithromycin for prevention of the disease.
To her surprise, when she was rushed to hospital, while struggling to walk, and gasping, she tested positive for COVID-19.
Ms Namfukwe’s behaviour is common among many Zambians who have resorted to abusing antibiotics to prevent or treat COVID-19.
Similarly, Matolasi Zulu has taken azithromycin a number of times to treat herself when she has flu symptoms.
“I am afraid [and I don’t want] to die. I take azithromycin when I am not feeling well to avoid being admitted to a CLICK TO READ MORE




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