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Most death in Nigeria are caused by wrong diagnosis – Expert

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-Monica Omachi, agency report

Increased wrong diagnosis has led to the death of high number of patients in hospitals across the country, said an expert.
Professor of Pharmacology, Nagasaki University in Japan, Omotuyi Olaposi said cases of medical errors in Nigeria are alarming, and requires critical intervention.
At a two-day seminar on medical services and simulation organised by Medbridge Global Company Simulation, Olaposi, who is the Director, Centre for Bio-Computing and Drug Development, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo State said medical error is a very big challenge.
“Medical mistake is unfortunately one of biggest Heath challenge in Nigeria; these medical errors have a lot of dimensions. The initial dimension is what is called misdiagnosis. That is when people are diagnosed wrongly and that means the chances of treating the person is almost more dangerous. That will be giving a wrong treatment for a wrong disease, he said.
“The second dimension is when doctors diagnose right but the wrong drugs and medications are administered. You got the ailment right, but the wrong thing is given.
The third is when you get the diagnosis right, get the right drugs to administer but you administer the drugs improperly, probably due to insufficient training or exposure. So these three are very important in terms of how people eventually die in our hospitals in Nigeria.”
Speaking on wrong diagnosis of persons, Olaposi explained it’s only in high profile persons that the public get to know.
“It was just because Dora Akunyili happens to be a celebrity that is why we knew what exactly happened.
Many people die without even knowing the cause of the death. The family will just accept it as the will of God and they just move on. Nobody is questioned and nothing whatsoever.
“I will say it is very difficult because we don’t have data. There is no data where people are taken to court or the hospitals are petitioned. But I can tell you from my own personal observation that I know more than ten people in this year alone that have either been diagnosed or treated with wrong medication or probably the wrong way of administering drugs,” he stated.
According to him, “if the total number of people visiting the hospital in Nigeria annually is 100, I think about 30 per cent of cases are due to wrong diagnosis, wrong treatment or wrong drugs.
“But the caveat is that not all the errors will eventually lead to death. That is the reason why it has not come to the front burner. A lot of these errors can be corrected and then life moves on.
Chief Executive Officer of Medbridge Global Company Simulation, Modupe Olowodahunsi said the essence of the conference is draw attention to critical need of simulation in health care service delivery.

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