Why Nigeria still records poor health outcomes, by pharmacists
It stated this yesterday in Abuja, at the inauguration of its new President and investiture of new fellows, saying in spite of recent improvements, Nigeria’s healthcare statistics remain unimpressive as maternal mortality reaches 821 per 100,000 live births, while under-five mortality hits 100 per 1,000 live births.
Speaking, President of PSN, Mazi Sam Iheanyichukwu Ohuabunwa, noted that the country has failed to eradicate poliomyelitis, cerebrospinal meningitis and Lassa fever even as malaria continues to ravage the population.
Ohuabunwa said although life expectancy at 54 shows improvement but it is still too low compared to India’s 68.
He said healthcare professionals seem to spend more time quarreling with government, squabbling among themselves and embarking on strikes instead of caring for Nigerian patients or seeking new ways to prevent or treat diseases.
He added that said one major troubled area of healthcare delivery in the country was the sanctity of drugs supply chain, which has been broken by admitting all kinds of miscreants and interlopers causing disarray among Nigerian drug consumers.
Ohuabunwa said people who should have no business handling drugs have become purveyors, while controlled drugs are freely available, resulting to the current high rate of misuse, abuse and resultant mortalities.
The PSN President noted that the role of pharmacists, as drugs custodians has been compromised by the actions and inactions of government and its agents’ culminating in undesirable consequences.
“Today, Nigerians can get their drugs from open market stalls, in intra-city buses, in kiosks and even in bars and night clubs without care for temperature or humidity,” Ohuabunwa said.
He stressed that in spite of efforts of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), fake drugs remain in high circulation, resulting to untimely death of their users due to unauthorised access and use. “Have we wondered why the increase in drug resistance and failures and the rise in end organ diseases, particularly kidneys?” he asked.
To address the anomaly, Ohuabunwa urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Pharmacy Council Bill into law.
“Perhaps the most critical step right now is for the President to sign the new Pharmacy Council of Nigeria bill enacted by the National Assembly into law. That will show government’s avowed commitment to sanitise the pharmaceutical space.
“Henceforth, we will ensure that no Nigerian takes any medication without the advice of pharmacists- directly or indirectly, hence the increased professional focus on pharmacare and clinical pharmacy,” he added.
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