22 February 2018

Nigeria: How Substandard Postnatal Bleeding Drug Fuels Maternal Deaths - USP Study

A recent study has shown how substandard drug used to stop post partum haemorrhage (PPH) fuels maternal deaths in Nigeria. Earlier studies had identified PPH as the leading cause of maternal mortality across the country.

To address this menace, the National Agency for Food Drug Administration (NAFDAC) with the support from United States Pharmacopeia (USP), two years ago, conducted a post market surveillance of some maternal and child health products in the country. The study revealed a failure rate of over 70 per cent of the oxytocin injection samples analysed.

Oxytocin injection is used to begin or improve contractions during labour. Oxytocin also is used to reduce bleeding after childbirth.

Sequel to the findings, the USP funded some researchers at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) to study if there is any correlation between the laboratory results of market sample and clinical experiences of healthcare providers in the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage using Oxytocin in Lagos.

Meanwhile, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 830 women die every day from preventable causes as 99 per cent of deaths occur in low income countries and Nigeria accounts for 19 per cent of global maternal deaths because a high percentage of women deliver at home or outside health facility without access to obstetric care or a skilled birth attendant.

In line with the dissemination of the findings, different key players gathered Tuesday in Laos to discuss the results of the findings.

Commissioner of Health Lagos state, Dr. Jide Idris, said it is one thing to identify a problem and it is one thing to be able to develop strategy and actually implement that strategy.

Idris who was represented by Director of Pharmaceutical Services Ministry of Health Lagos State, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo highlighted that most of the things that have been said are known to the stakeholders.

He added: "Many solutions have been proffered and we hope that the implementation will be robust. What we are hoping to do is to make sure the data, findings is in the public space. We hope the implementations would be easier and identify the challenges that mitigate against the maternal mortality health in the country."

Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye commended USP in the step they are taking in ensuring distribution of quality medicines across the nation.


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