Stakeholders call for rational use of essential medicine in Nigeria

By Gabriel Olawale

Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria- Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale; Centre for Communication and Reproductive Health Services among other stakeholders have called on the 36 States of the federation including Federal Capital Territory, to domesticate the use of National Standard Treatment Guidelines, NSTG and Nigeria Essential Medicines List, NEML guideline to foster rational use of medicines at all levels of healthcare. They said that extending such gesture to local government level will to a great extent help to reduce death from preventable diseases.

Cross section of participants at the dissemination workshop on the implementation of National Standard Treatment Guidelines and Nigeria Essential Medicines List guideline in South-West and North-Central Zones of the Nigeria organised by Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria- Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale. Speaking during dissemination workshop on the implementation of NSTG and NEML in South-West and North Central zone of the country, Senior Programme Officer, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria- Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale, Edmin Akpotor said that the two documents stated how each disease in Nigeria should be treated which in turn determined the outcome of treatment. “NSTG and NEML are revised every two years and during the revision, some drugs that are obsolete are removed and new drugs will be included. During the last review, chloroquine was removed and replaced with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy. Also, use of Amoxicillin Dispersible Tablet for pneumonia and co-pack zinc/low osmolarity oral rehydration salt for diarrhea was approved. Akpotor lamented that the present compliance with NSTG and NEML guideline in the country are still very low, “the implication is that the death from preventable diseases will continue to increase. Some states are still using Septrin for pneumonia which has been outlaw while some still use chloroquine for malaria. The implication is that death from malaria and pneumonia will keep increasing. Speaking during the distribution of NSTG and NEML documents to the states, representative of Federal Ministry of Health, Pharm. Bumi Arebiana urged the states to ensure health facilities follow the guideline of NSTG and NEML and replicate the same at Local Government Area level to help avert preventable death and increase survival rate.

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