Expert puts global cost linked with medication errors at US$ 42 billion
*Says 10million patients suffer avoidable harm
Medication Errors are a principal cause of injury and avoidable harm in healthcare systems, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimating the annual global cost linked with medication errors at US$ 42 billion.
The Managing Director/CEO, of Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Matthew O. Azoji, said this, on Thursday, while delivering the keynote address at the 2022 World Patient Safety Day celebration organised by the Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency themed:” Medication Safety: Slogan: Medication without Harm”. He also said that annually an estimated 10 million patients worldwide suffer avoidable harm leading to disabling injuries or death due to unsafe medical practices and poor quality of care.
“May I draw your attention to the latest World Bank record of life expectancy at birth for Nigeria, which is 55years as of 2020. This figure compares unfavourably with many other African Countries such as Ghana at 64years and even Niger at 63years.
“Incidence of medication errors may not be the only reason for this very low life expectancy at birth but it contributes to it. Medication Safety calls for collective action and I will like to call upon the government to provide leadership to make it a national priority.”
Azoji stated that a systems approach to reducing medication errors must look beyond the pharmacy staff through whom an error may have occurred because there are a number of system issues which proper environmental and process design will eliminate; thereby eliminating mistakes, and errors and enhancing patient safety, effective health outcomes as well as efficiency.
Speaking also at the event, the Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, urged residents to support the fight against quackery and illegal operation of health facilities by reporting those behind such acts to the HEFAAMA, to safeguard the well-being of the citizenry.
Abayomi said the agency was committed to stem the tide of quackery to ensure its people receive the best of healthcare from both public and private hospitals.
He noted that there were two categories of quackery, disclosing simple quackery is practising without medical training and professional quackery is operating outside the scope of training. He also urged the resident not to obtain drugs without due consultations.
Abayomi also called on health professionals to use the necessary facilities to assist in arriving at the correct diagnosis, should stop inventing sicknesses as well as abhor rivalry as every health practitioner had it roles and responsibilities.
The Chairman of, Governing Board, HEFAMAA, Yemisi Solanke Koya, said the agency had taken a lot of time to put together the programme which comes up on September seventeenth every year for the benefit of everyone in the state
Solanke-Koya also harped on the need for stakeholders to always collaborate with the Lagos State government through the agency and health care workers to ensure the safety of patients by helping to reduce and avoid incidences of medication errors in the sector, which could lead to significant avoidable harm.