Soc Sci Med. 1987 ; 25(3): 293-305.
Self-care and the informal sale of drugs in south Cameroon.
Self-care, though the most common of all forms of therapeutic action, has been little studied. This paper describes the context of self-medication with western pharmaceuticals in an area of South Cameroon (in 1980). The identity and appropriateness of these pharmaceuticals are briefly discussed. The paradoxical character of self-medication is emphasised: improvement in the quality of self-medication implies both growth and loss of self reliance, increase and decrease of medicalisation. People in Cameroon, or indeed anywhere in the Third World, find themselves in a 'double-bind'.