Worried by the increasing wave of deaths resulting from errors in medications, the World Health Organisation and other critical Stakeholders in the health sector have held a Campaign Walk aimed at significantly reducing the challenge to its barest minimum.
The Walk in Abuja which is in commemoration of the 2022 World Patient Safety Day demonstrates the resolve to effectively domesticate and implement the Global Patient Safety Action Plan (2021–2030).
Speaking on the theme of the Walk, “Medication without harm’, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire warned of the dangers inherent in self medication.
Represented by the Director of Hospital Services, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, the Minister explained that the Walk was a veritable avenue to sensitise Nigerians that indulging in self medication is life threatening.
“We are sensitising the entire populace that it is not enough for you to have headache and you go and grab paracetamol or panadol from the pharmacy.
“It is important to be examined by a healthcare professional and diagnosis, so that the correct medication can be given to you. We are ensuring that healthcare professionals carry out the best practices.”
The Minister also took time off to assure Nigerians that the relevant Authorities are on top of their game to ensure that healthcare professionals who fall short of the ethics of the profession are adequately sanctioned by the regulatory bodies.
“The regulatory bodies know what to do. Once any of the malpractices are reported to the regulatory bodies, for example, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), there is an investigative panel and a tribunal for cases of malpractice. Anyone found wanting will be sanctioned according to the law.”
On his part, Patient Safety Ambassador, Patient Safety Movement, Ehi Eden, harped on the worrying trend of medication safety, which according to him, has assumed a global dimension.
“One of the things we are doing is empowering patients and their relatives to know that it is their right to know the name of the drug they are being given. This is because if there are contraindications, then, you should be able to say – this is what I took. NAFDAC has legislation that gives patients the right to know the drug they are being given.”
Also speaking at the event, Community Physician and Patient Safety Consultant for the Federal Ministry of Health, Professor Stephen Abah, weighed in on the commitment of the Federal Government in drafting a policy on patient safety for Nigeria.
In his words: “Patient safety is taking center stage globally especially with the theme of this year’s celebration focused on medication hence the need to educate Nigerians on the danger inherent in this kind of practice,” he asserted.