Botswana: Health Official Cautions Medical Practitioners

Lobatse — Medical practitioners have been cautioned against giving drugs "religiously" without carrying out any monitoring for adverse reaction on patients.

The caution was sounded by Ministry of Health and Wellness acting deputy permanent secretary Dr Tshepo Machacha when officially opening an Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Centre at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital in Lobatse recently.

"When giving a drug, keep your eyes open on what it does (to the patient). Check whether it acts the way it should or whether there are some adverse reactions. We don't want to just consume blindly," he advised.

He pointed out that while medicines saved lives, they sometimes had harmful side effects.

Dr Machacha lamented that adverse drug reaction often went unnoticed and undocumented in Botswana.

He said the purpose of the centre, established by Botswana Medicines Regulatory Authority (BOMRA), was data collection, monitoring and notifying authorities about cases of adverse drug reaction in the Lobatse region.

Data collection and documentation of adverse drug reaction cases would assist in generation of evidence-based information on medicine and vaccine safety.

"We want to give our population safe medication, but the only way to do that is when we monitor our medication closely. This is why government established BOMRA," he added.

The hospital superintendent, Dr Joseph Shama hailed the partnership between the facility and BOMRA saying the centre would make reporting cases of adverse drug reaction easier for patients.

He encouraged patients to report any case of adverse drug reaction adding that medical practitioners were obliged to capture and submit all such cases.

"We should report anything, whether minor or minimal. It will make sure we collect data and investigate and help the whole nation," he said.

BOMRA chief executive officer, Dr Steven Ghanie said the organisation was established to evaluate and register medicines as well as ensure that medicines and other substances used in Botswana conformed to established quality and safety standards.

To achieve that, he said, BOMRA monitored and evaluated medicines through establishing partnerships with local health facilities and other regulatory authorities internationally.

Source : BOPA

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