Report has it that three-fourths of internet users routinely look online for health information.
Even though the internet has come to be a veritable and handy tool for the acquisition of important information, it must not be totally relied upon, especially in areas that border on our health and other very volatile subjects.
Lending credence to the foregoing is the submissions of a public health physician, Dr Olisaeloka Lotenna, who has urged Nigerians to stop consulting google for medical advice to prevent health complications.
The physician, who works at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka.
He said it was unfortunate that some Nigerians consult google instead of visiting the hospital to avoid hospital fees and stress. In his words:
“When people feel unwell, researching symptoms online is one of the easiest and quickest ways to find information that might be able to help explain the health problem.
“Unfortunately, getting a do-it-yourself diagnosis via the internet is likely to be wrong more often than not, according to a new research. Dr google is not a doctor. Google does not know you and cannot individualise your health problems and treatment.
“The internet will give the treatment meant for Mrs A to you because it cannot get your diagnosis and can end up hurting you. Things like these keep happening and often end in health complications and tears. So, you need to think twice about checking your symptoms online when next you get sick.”
Lotenna urged members of the public to visit hospitals and consult doctors for proper diagnosis, treatment and health advice.
“Please, visit the hospital and consult a doctor today. No website can replace a detailed assessment from a qualified medical provider. Going to hospital to see a doctor these days might be inconvenient, time-consuming and expensive but it is the best.
“Taking care of your health is important for your self-esteem and self-image. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing what is right for your body,”