The Federal Government has warned Nigerians against using drugs without a prescription through the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, highlighting that self-medication poses a greater risk than the condition it is intended to treat.
adding that it is beneficial to have a medical professional perform an examination and make a diagnosis so that the appropriate medication can be administered.
In order to commemorate World Patients Safety Day in Abuja in 2022, Ehanire gave this warning walk that was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Minister, who was represented by the Director and Head of Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, stated that the purpose of the sensitization walk was to enable the public to inquire about the medications they are receiving.
The Federal government through the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has cautioned Nigerians against using drugs without a prescription, emphasizing that self-medication poses a greater risk than the condition it is intended to treat.
While adding that it is good to be examined by healthcare professionals and diagnosis made so that the right medication can be given.
Ehanire gave this caution walk organised by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) to commemorate the 2022 World Patients Safety Day in Abuja.
The Minister who was represented by the Director and Head of Hospital Services, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi said the sensitization walk became expedient to empower citizery to ask questions on the drugs they are given.
According to him:”We are sensitising the entire populace that it is not enough for you to have headache and you will go and grab Paracetamol or panadol from the pharmacy. Although, it is an out of the counter medication but one still need to have a knowledge of the underlying condition. What is given you that headache? for some people, it may be what they don’t ever think off. It is good for you to be examined by healthcare professionals and diagnosis made so that the correct medication can be given to you.
“The walk is actually to sensitise the entire country and ensuring that even the healthcare professionals too, carry out best practices not just the usual”.
Speaking on sanctions for erring healthcare professionals, Ehanire said that there are regulatory bodies and they know what to do. Once any of these malpractices are reported to the regulatory bodies, action will be taken. For example, at the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, there is an investigative panel and there’s a tribunal that tries cases of malpractice. Anyone found wanting, of course will be sanctions according to the law,” he stated.
Also, Prof. Stephen Abah, a Community Physician at the Federal University of Health Sciences, Oktupo said worldwide , patient safety is taking the center stage, particularly this year that the theme is focused on medication.
He added that , in a country like Nigeria where people can buy over the counter drugs, such obnoxious habit must be discouraged.
According to him , “We need to educate Nigerians The Federal Government has cautioned Nigerians against using drugs without a prescription, emphasizing that self-medication poses a greater risk than the condition it is intended to treat.
“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”, he said.
He said the Bill of Rights for question was one thing, but a policy was needed to drive the action of regulators, government, individuals and stakeholders.
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 and empower them in terms of increasing their knowledge and also empower them in terms of funding certain aspects of medication safety”, he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ehi Eden, Patients’ Safety Ambassador, Patient Safety Movement Foundation said medication safety has become a very critical issue globally , it is one of the leading causes of death in healthcare, while adding that 50 percent of the death in healthcare is from medication safety.