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First Lady cautions managers of health facilities against medication-related errors

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First Lady cautions managers of health facilities against medication-related errors

The Lagos State government has advised health facilities across the state to put safe practices in healthcare delivery on the front burner for improved services in line with best practices in the world.

First Lady of Lagos, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo Olu who gave the advice in her address at the World Patient Safety Day 2022 Celebration, organised by the Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), stated that all relevant stakeholders in sector must be conscious of the need to prevent medication-related errors, which can lead to greater health problems.

In a statement, yesterday, Sanwo Olu explained further that the year 2022 World Patient Safety Day Celebration themed “Medication Safety” with the slogan “Medication without Harm” was well thought out, as there is an urgent need to raise global awareness of the high burden of medication-related harm due to medication errors and unsafe practices.

“This event is a prompt for stakeholders to take urgent action to reduce medication-related harm through strengthening systems and practices of proper medication use and also raise global awareness of the high burden of medication-related harm due to medication errors and unsafe practices,” she said.

The governor’s wife who was represented by Dr. Ibijoke Ajumobi commended the Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency for seizing the opportunity of the global celebration to put a premium on the safety of patients in both public and private hospitals in the state.

Also speaking, the Managing Director/CEO, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Matthew O. Azoji, said medication errors constitute a major cause of injury and avoidable harm in health care systems, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimating the annual global cost linked with medication errors at US$ 42 billion.

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 was 55 years as of 2020. This figure compares unfavourably with many other African countries such as Ghana at 64 years and even Niger at 63 years.

“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.”

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 stemming the tide of quackery to ensure its people receive the best of healthcare from both public and private hospitals.

The Chairman, Governing Board, HEFAMAA, Yemisi 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.

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