Opinion: ​Concerning Adherence To Medication

By Usha Anenga 
Having an illness is not easy, talk more of having one that doesn’t have a cure. Some of the more common ones include HIV, Diabetes, Hypertension, Sickle cell anemia to mention but a few. Beside living with the disturbing effects of these illnesses, you’ll need to take drugs for the rest of your life. Other curable illnesses like cancer, Nephrotic syndrome, Seizure disorders and Tuberculosis will require taking drugs for a long time.

However, we are beginning to witness a surge in people coming down with exacerbations of their chronic illnesses because they stopped taking their drugs. When their conditions worsen, they are now rushed to the hospital. Amongst many reasons for this, most say their Pastors told them they are healed hence don’t need drugs anymore; that they shouldn’t believe the “doctor’s report” because “God’s report” concerning their lives is perfect. Well, I’m not disputing possibilities of being healed miraculously but we should also be mindful that God works through various ways to heal us and taking drugs is one of them. Truth is, we can believe in God and still take our drugs. Pastors should not be at loggerheads with Doctors concerning ailments…I believe it is God that gave man the initiative to produce those drugs in the first place. They should therefore encourage their sick members to prayerfully adhere to their medication.

Others probably due to a misunderstanding of their conditions grow tired of taking drugs and with apparently no cure, they begin to patronise traditional herbalist who promise to cure every disease with single concoction. Traditional medicine as practiced in our localities is a whole lot of unregulated and unresearched aspect of medical care. For now, it will do us a lot of good to stick to orthodox medicine which is what we know and are sure about. The onus is also on doctors to explain people’s ailments to them and the possible outcomes in ways the patients can understand and have an informed realistic perspective and insight into what is wrong with their bodies. That will help them adhere to their medication. 

Finally, most of these illnesses hitherto seen as death sentences are now quite common, manageable and most curable, so be encouraged and take your drugs religiously because, with them, you can live a normal life without debilitation.

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