Expert blames health professionals for Nigerians’ self-medication practice
A consultant physician has posited that insensitivity on the part of healthcare professionals is one of the major contributing factors some Nigerians have taken to self medication.
While delivering a lecture on management of pain and headache at the 8th edition of The Panel held recently at Classique Events Place, Oregun, Lagos, Dr. Juliet Nebe, consultant physician with Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) explained that there are people in the society today who have been confined to the world of perennial drug abuse.
“These people don’t know the difference between Panadol and paracetamol (regardless of which company produces them). Consequently, they tend to combine the doses all in the name of treating headache. Little did they know that the drugs they tend to combine perform the same function,” she said.
While narrating some of the day-to-day harrowing experience Nigerians go through to access quality medical attention, Nebe blamed doctors and pharmacists for not showing enough empathy for the plight of patients.
According to her, pharmacists are the first and, sometimes, only source of headache advice to patient.
“That was why I mentioned earlier that the pharmacy team plays a vital role in educating the public. Unfortunately, many have failed in this primary responsibility,” she stressed.
The consultant physician declared that she has personally been to so many pharmacies especially in my local government (Amuwo Odofin) and discovered that majority of them are not managed by pharmacists.
Consequently, Nebe called on the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) to help sanitise the profession by making it mandatory for pharmacies to be managed by qualified practitioners whose lackadaisical attitude wouldn’t put off patients into resorting to self-medication.
The expert also took a swipe at doctors at both grassroots and tertiary level for not empathising with the masses.
“Our doctors must set aside greed. They must learn to be accommodating and constantly remind themselves that they are offering humanitarian service. I am however happy that many Nigerians are more enlightened now than in the past,” she urged.