By Asmau Ahmad
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Abuja on Saturday organised an awareness campaign walk to raise consciousness on medication-related errors and unsafe practices.
Mrs Ade-bimpe Adebiyi, Director of Hospital Services, Ministry of Health, who represented the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the walk was organised to sensitise the public on the dangers of medication errors and unsafe practices.
Ehanire cautioned Nigerians against self-medications, adding, “such acts can cause incorrect self-diagnosis and delays in seeking medical advice when needed.
“In the same vein, there are usually severe adverse reactions as well as dangerous drug interactions, among other effects.
Ehanire said that the country has regulatory bodies that handle issues of malpractice on health matters.
According to him, any case that was reported to the agencies would be sanctioned according to the law.
“We are using this walk to sensitise the entire populace, that it is not enough for one to have headache and go to buy paracetamol from the pharmacy. The person needs to visit the hospital to see a qualified doctor that will examine him and prescribe the right drugs,’’ he said.
Mr Edi Idem, Patients’ Safety Ambassador, Patient Safety Movement Foundation said that the it was currently drafting the policy on patients’ safety for Nigeria and worldwide.
Idem said that the issue of medication error had taken centre stage, particularly as the year focused on medication.
According to him, in a country like Nigeria where people can buy over the counter drugs, such obnoxious habit must be discouraged.
“We need to educate Nigerians on the dangers inherent in this kind of practice. You need to know the drugs you are consuming, the consequences of these drugs.
“We need to empower patients, individual families, so that they can ask the right questions. So, today WHO wants to raise awareness globally, not only in our country, but across the world,” Idem said.
According to him, the Bill of Rights for question was one thing, but a policy was needed to drive the action of regulators, government, individuals and stakeholders.
Idem said, “WHO would participate to ensure that for every medication that one takes, anywhere in this country, there are rules or regulations guiding it.
“The bill emphasises on the role of the various stakeholders, government, individuals and families. We empower them in terms of increasing their knowledge and also empower them in terms of funding for certain aspects of mutations.”