Sequel to the low performance observed in the Nigerian healthcare delivery system in the management of the novel Coronavirus and other diseases, the Chairman, Clinical Pharmacists Association of Nigeria (CPAN), Dr Joseph Madu, has attributed the development to the failure of leaders in the healthcare delivery system to utilise the pharmaceutical care expertise of clinical pharmacists.
Madu, who spoke to Pharmanewsonline in an exclusive interview, condemned the practice in Nigeria that prevents patients from benefiting from clinical pharmacists expertise, said it is contrary to what obtains in most countries of the world where clinical pharmacists participate in routine and consistent bedside care of patients in public and private hospitals.
He noted that this has resulted and has continued to be responsible for some morbidity and mortality recorded in the country, due to preventable potential and actual drug therapy problems.
The clinical pharmacist categorically stated that: “Any patient care system in which the expertise of clinical pharmacists is overlooked is bound to perform very poorly”.
He further submitted that:“One of the major reasons for the low performance of our healthcare delivery system is the poor or sometimes absent utilization of pharmaceutical care expertise of clinical pharmacists, as obtainable in most of the countries with the best health indices.
“It is still not common to observe patients in our health facilities benefit by having routine and consistent presence of clinical pharmacists at the patient’s bedside in all our public and private healthcare facilities including centres for the management of COVID-19”.
Countering the assumption from some quarters that the COVID-19 infection ravaging Europe and America is different from the virus in Africa and Nigeria, he said it is the same virus infection but it has been empirically proven that the impact of diseases are largely affected by demography or genomics of individuals.
He highlighted reasons for the difference in mortality and morbidity rate of the infection in Europe and Africa, as he mentioned age, environmental factors, and others.
“Scientifically, it has been proven that the impact of diseases are largely affected by demography or genomics of individuals.Therefore, on scientific basis, it can be said that the same COVID-19 that has killed millions of people in Europe, can be responsible for killing just a few thousands in Nigeria.
“As it stands however, all explanations to the differences in terms of fatality rates between the continents are based on ordinary scientific observations but not complete research.
“The relative youthfulness in African population, the constant pre-exposure to malaria and other coronaviruses, are said to have prepared the immune system to respond faster, though this has not been proven through any research.
“It also appears to have been reported that many Nigerians have been exposed to COVID-19, but have recovered without treatment or are asymptomatic
“Mao et al, 2020 reported the findings from WHO incidence data that COVID-19 infections are highly pandemic in countries where malaria is least pandemic, and are least pandemic in nations where malaria is highly pandemic.
“This fits with COVID-19 cases in Nigeria where its clinical presentations are mostly mild disease or asymptomatic infections”, he explained.
Madu, who noted that Nigeria might be going through the second wave of the infection now, urged all stakeholders to perish the idea that COVID-19 has disappeared from Nigeria, saying such attitude would only aggravate the spread as majority are presently indifferent to the state of the infection in the country.
He called on relevant agencies to swing into action and encourage adherence to prevention protocols in order to preserve the gains achieved through previous stipulated guidelines.
“However, it appears that a significant number of our people have continued to pretend as if COVID-19 is no longer a threat to lives, and hence have been going about their normal activities without observing any safety protocols.
“This negative attitude about COVID-19 on the part of the populace should be strictly discouraged by our health system stakeholders”, he urged.