Self-medication, detention fear stymied Covid treatment


SELF-MEDICATION and the fear of going to a health facility were among the top reasons Filipinos did not seek medical consultation for Covid-19 symptoms, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Based on the 2022 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) Key Indicators report, the majority or 65 percent of households did not seek consultation or treatment for their Covid-19 symptoms.

Of these Filipinos, some 83.7 percent did not consult a doctor because they self-medicated while 35.2 percent expressed fears of going to a health facility due to Covid-19.

In terms of age group, those who self-medicated the most belonged to the 50 to 64 year old bracket at 86.8 percent; followed by the 65 and older at 86.6 percent.

In terms of region, self-medication as a reason not to seek medical consultation was the highest among those in Davao Region at 94.8 percent, and Northern Mindanao at 90.5 percent.

The data also showed this was the lowest in Soccsksargen at 67.5 percent and Zamboanga Peninsula at 75.2 percent.

The fear of going to a health facility was highest in Cagayan Valley at 63.1 percent, followed by Zamboanga Peninsula at 53.9 percent.

The lowest percent distribution for fear of going to a health facility was seen in Calabarzon at 20.7 percent, followed by the National Capital Region at 23.1 percent.

Almost half or 43.8 percent of younger Filipinos aged 20 years old and below did not seek medical attention for fear that they would be sent to a health facility due to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, other reasons Filipinos refused to seek medical attention for Covid-19 symptoms were harmless symptoms at 14.1 percent; cost, 3.7 percent; and distance, 1.3 percent.

Others were embarrassed to seek treatment for their symptoms at 0.9 percent; there was an absence of doctors or health facilities, 0.3 percent; and others did not know at 0.2 percent.

Among the identified symptoms of Covid-19 were fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

A total of 83.6 percent of Filipinos did not experience Covid-19 symptoms while 16.2 percent experienced the symptoms. A total of 30,372 respondents were asked to answer the NDHS survey.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes