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Providing safe medicines for children in Nigeria: The impediments and remedies

Author(s): Oshikoya K | Senbanjo I

Journal: Annals of African Medicine
ISSN 1596-3519

Volume: 9;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 203;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Children | medicine | Nigeria | safe

Promoting safety of medicines for children is a global concern which has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to launch a campaign of "Making Medicines Child Size". Children in Nigeria were once victims of unethical clinical medicine trials and repeated victims of use of fake and adulterated medicines. Considering the magnitude of harms children had suffered in Nigeria from the use of medicines, there is a need for literature review to identify the factors preventing children from accessing safe medicines and to suggest remedies to the problems. Lack of access to up- to- date medicine information, lack of training and research in pediatric clinical pharmacology, deficiencies in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of medicine risk management and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, irrational medicine use due to lack of pediatric focus on essential medicine list and inappropriate home storage of medicines by parents, lack of evidence- based medicine (EBM) practice, lack of national adverse drug reaction surveillance among children, and weak national drug policies were the major problems identified. It is to be hoped that development and provision of a pediatric national drug formulary for health professionals in Nigeria, creating a comprehensive national pediatric drug research network in collaborations with developed countries, reviewing the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum in pediatrics to include teaching of basic elements of rational prescribing, drug dose calculations, adverse drug reactions and pharmacovigilance, increasing access to essential medicines for children, postgraduate teaching of EBM, and strengthening of the national drug policies would improve children′s access to safe medicines in Nigeria.
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