By Esther Onyegbula & Nnaemezie Gideon
Worried about continuous of exposure of Nigerians to fake medicines, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has enumerated safety rights patients seeking quality healthcare should note.
Speaking in Lagos to commemorate World Pharmacists’ Day, President of the PSN, Pharm Sam Ohuabunwa said that patients should be fully aware of their rights to quality health which must be followed before a medication safety could be assured.
Ohuabunwa explained that patients’ rights include: Right to right dosage; medication; being administered to the right patient; at the right time and by the right route.
He said it is important that people ask questions continuously and ensure adherence to their medications.
“For instance, if you are supposed to take your medication six-hourly, and you take it eight hourly, you are already in a medication error and the drug will not work at it is optimum.
“If you are supposed to take a drug ones a day and you take it twice a day, you have caused problems for yourself. It is important for us all to understand the five rights.”
Ohuabunwa further said patients should understand these rights as they may appear simple, but are personalised for each patient since they are modified by demography, health condition, physiological status and possible allergies.
“The world over, the role of the pharmacist is immeasurable in the health care delivery system of every nation, hence the adoption of the theme for this year as “Safe and Effective Medicines for All.”
He noted that the theme is targeted to narrow gaps in the delivery of quality pharmaceutical care as well as products which has huge impact on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs).
In line with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the PSN President noted that the theme aims to highlight the key role that pharmacists play in assuring patients’ safety through improved medicines use and reduced medication errors
Speaking on the state of the health sector he noted that it is the health sector is hampered by the lack of cohesiveness among the various segments of the sector in contrast to the past.
“I would say that we have a mixed bag in the health sector; the positive is that we are having more health institutions, teaching and non-teaching hospitals, a lot of efforts have been made towards improving primary health, build new structures. That is the good side infrastructural improvement.
“However, these infrastructure has not yielded the desired outcome as life expectancy at one time in Nigeria was close to 68, We still have typhoid, tuberculosis malaria and even vaccine-preventable diseases like polio ravaging us. What I am saying is that it is a mixed bag and the greatest problem is policy inconsistency and disharmony.”