The Lagos State Government has advised health facilities across the State to put safe practices in health care delivery on the front burner for a better healthcare system in the State in line with best practices in the world.
First Lady of Lagos, Dr. (Mrs). Ibijoke Sanwo Olu who gave the advice in her keynote address yesterday during the World Patient Safety Day 2022 Celebration organised by the Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island stated that all relevant stakeholders in healthcare delivery services must be conscientious with regard to the prevention of medication-related errors which can lead to greater health problems.
Dr 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 First Lady of Lagos 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.
“As a critical Agency of government that is charged with the responsibility to set and enforce standards in the health sector, it is commendable that HEFAMAA is seizing the opportunity of this global celebration to put a premium on the safety of patients in our health facilities both private and public”. She said.
She however encouraged all health care providers in the state to continue to operate according to the guidelines of the state government.
Earlier, Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi in his remarks explained that the state government will not relent in ensuring that healthcare delivery is provided by qualified professionals in accredited facilities as the state government has an overall safety strategy for healthcare delivery in the state.
Professor Abayomi explained further that the state government is regularly regulating the activities of all health facilities in the state including the traditional alternative and complementary health practitioners adding that the government through the ministry of health also organises regular Continuing Medical Education (CME) for health care providers so as to improve their capacity in efficient service delivery.
“The Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Health has an overall safety strategy for patients in Lagos State. We have 3 tiers of care and an additional emphasis on traditional medicine. So, whether it is orthodox medicine or traditional alternative medicine, the responsibility of the government is, first of all, to make sure that the personnel in these facilities are adequately trained and continue to receive continuous medical education whether they are authorised practitioners or traditional practitioners and in the process of doing that, we need to ensure that their qualifications are right, and the facilities in which they are working are accredited and registered,” he said.
While restating the commitment of the state government in the fight against quackery, the Commissioner urged all caregivers to always ensure the correct medication to their patients and also consider the side effect of the medication they are administering by weighing off the differences between curing a condition and the side effects of the medication.
In her welcome remarks, Chairman Governing Board, HEFAMAA, Dr Yemisi Solanke-Koya, stated that the Agency is leveraging the event to raise public awareness, motivate and also collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the reduction of unsafe medication practices and errors across all categories of health facilities in the State.
“The year 2022 world patient safety Day celebration has been thoughtfully designed to engage public and private healthcare providers, patient advocates, policymakers and partners in strengthening the systems, human factors and environmental conditions that influence the safety of medication use in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole”. She said.
Dr Sholanke-Koya explained further that the agency remains committed to its mandate of ensuring that all Lagos residents have access to quality and safe healthcare through effective regulation of health facilities and ensuring compliance to set standards across the state.
She commended the state government for its commitment and dedication to the achievement of the Health and Environment pillar of the THEMES agenda of the present administration adding that the Agency will not relent until a sustainable health care delivery in line with best practices is achieved in the state.
Executive Director, HEFAMAA, Dr Abiola Idowu who gave the vote of thanks commended all health facilities that have always been in compliance with the guidelines of the government. She however urged them to adhere strictly to the health laws and not relent in the standard of services they provide.
Highpoints of the event include the presentation of awards to the First Lady, Dr Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Honourable Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi and other dignitaries as well as Paelon Memorial Hospital, and Federal Medical Center, Ebute-Metta awarded the most compliant private and public health facilities respectively.
Uthman Muyideen Ayokunle
Head, Public Affairs, HEFAMAA
16th September 2022