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MEDICATION ERROR IN NIGERIA: THE NEGATIVE ATTITUDE OF HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONERS TOWARDS IT

As the incidence of medication error is increasing in Nigeria, the CEO of Monitor Healthcare Ltd (MHL) Dr Femi Ogunremi in Lagos, March 11, 2019, raised his concerns.

The CEO of MHL also a UK-based Emergency Medicine Expert said in his interview with some correspondent that medication error is a global problem which contributes to harming patients. He said the magnitude of these problems in Africa remains unclear.

He said an error is when a wrong, misleading or incomplete treatment or advice is given in this case, to a patient.

Dr Femi Ogunremi also said a study by experts confirmed in a national survey that the prevalence of medication errors was high among healthcare professionals in Nigeria.“However, recent research has shown that the medication errors are common in Nigeria and healthcare practitioners show a negative attitude toward it.” “According to a study by Iloh, G et all 2017, medication error makes 95.2 per cent of all medical errors in a cross-sectional study across Abia in 2017.

“It appears to be a major issue in Nigeria, but it is not projected as such; incidentally, if you ask around, most families will have one story or the other of their bad experience relating to this.” The impact of medication errors cuts across the individual, family and the society,“ he said in his interview.

He identified that the negative attitude of health practitioners toward medication errors as a major challenge to tackling the issue.“Unfortunately, this is bound to occur in practices, either medical or otherwise; error can occur at the point of delivery or consumption and this can be at the point of prescribing or dispensing. A major issue here is the attitude of our practitioners in the country, including pharmacists, nurses and doctors. There is robust evidence showing that our practitioners have a negative attitude toward the issue. Patients and relatives who visit our practitioners have trust in them, but in a lot of cases, our practitioners either do not understand the ethical dilemma involved in the practice or it has been ignored completely. This results in the perpetuation of errors and the nonchalant attitude toward patients,“ he said.

Dr Ogunremi enjoined the three tiers of government to invest in effective training of health practitioners on preventing and dealing with medication errors in clinical settings. He also encouraged practitioners to be passionate in delivering care to patients.“As a nation, we have a lot to do in this sphere; the solution to this crisis is multifaceted and all of us have a part to play in creating a safety around our medications

“ At the manufacturing level, the regulators such as the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others have significant roles to play. At that front, fake medicines or adulterated ones can be tackled from getting into the system,” Dr Ogunremi said.

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