FG, American Cancer Society partner on Pain-Free Hospital Initiative

Posted by News Express | 17 July 2015 | 3,432 times

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The Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with American Cancer Society have unveiled the Pain-Free Hospital Initiative in four pilot federal tertiary health facilities.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Linus Awute, who launched the project in Abuja on Thursday, said the project would improve access to essential pain medicines in Nigeria.

Awute said the initiative was a one-year hospital-wide quality improvement intervention to integrate pain treatment into service delivery by providing education for patients and staff, raising motivation, awareness and documenting pain levels.

"It will equip staff to assess pain and provide high quality first line treatment,’’ Awute said.

He said the initiative targets large national referral and teaching hospitals to provide simple accessible training for physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers.

According to him, the four hospitals selected for the pilot projects are University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, University College Ibadan, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu and the National Hospital Abuja.

"It is envisioned that the one-year pilot project will further refine the design of the project model for effective replication in other federal tertiary health facilities across the country,’’ he said.

Awute said that in 2012, no fewer than 177, 000 people were estimated to have died in moderate or severe pains from HIV or cancer.

"In the same year, the utilisation of narcotic medicines such as morphine was enough to treat 266 people, representing 0.2 per cent coverage in pain treatment need.

"In response to this challenge, the ministry approved the collaboration with the American Cancer Society’s Treat the Pain Programme to improve access to essential pain medicine,’’ said Awute.

The permanent secretary said morphine was now on the essential medicine list, adding that 19.2Kg of pulverized morphine was imported to treat 3000 patients in Nigeria.

He said the American Cancer Society ‘Treat the Pain’ would provide technical support to the ministry in this regards.

In her address, the Director Food and Drug in the ministry, Dr Vera Ogbechi, said the need for the morphine-equivalent analgesics in Nigeria was 1,122Kg.

She said this was based on the annual deaths from HIV and Cancer and not including pain from other causes.

Ogbechi said that the collaboration would address challenges of availability of the drugs, insufficient clinical training, and poor access to health care. (NAN)

•Photo shows Perm Sec Awute.

Source: News Express

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