The Deputy President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Kabiru Sani, has said that 50 per cent of deaths recorded in the sector are caused by unsafe medication practices and medication errors.
This is as he lamented that the health sector loses $42bn annually due to the wrong medications.
He stated this at an event in commemoration of 2022 World Patient Safety Day, themed, “Medication Safety” held in Abuja.
The programme, held on Monday, was in collaboration with the Occupational Health and Safety Management and Patient Safety Movement.
He said, “According to WHO, unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a leading cause of injury and avoidable harm in health care systems across the world. Globally, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at $42bn annually.
“We, therefore, need to draw the domestic and global attention of all relevant authorities to the challenges facing patients, and healthcare workers and the urgent need to ameliorate them.
“The overall objective of world patient safety is to enhance and promote global understanding of patient safety, increase public engagement in the safety of healthcare workers, and promote global actions to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm.
“Patient safety is regarded as a global priority because health is wealth and global productivity in every sector of the economy is tied to a healthy workforce.”
He also charged health workers to take full responsibility for every patient’s health because they are the sector’s focal point.
He noted that health workers must know the accurate dosage, timing, and effect of drugs and never prescribe drugs to pregnant women without adequate tests.
The union is the first organisation to mark the event in line with the resolution of the United Nations.
Speaking also at the event, the chief executive officer, Occupational Health and Safety Management, Ehi Iden, enjoined health workers to properly document patients’ records, as they are very important and must not be neglected.