Excessive Use of Antibiotics Can Damage the System, Experts Warn



Martins Ifijeh

Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases expert, Dr. Yoav Golan has cautioned Nigerians against excessive intake of antibiotics, warning that this could damage vital parts of the body system.

He said taking antibiotics without prescription was wrong, adding that healthcare providers should explain to their patients why antibiotics was being given to them, in order for them not to mistake it for a regular or everyday drug.

“If I will have to estimate, I think 90 per cent of antibiotics used are unnecessary. I think there are a lot of interactions that can be done between healthcare providers and their patients. They have to spend more time with patients.

“When antibiotic is abused, the side effects can be diarrhoea, among others. If you use a lot of antibiotics, it will do you much more harm than good,” he said.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services, University of Lagos, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, while making her speech said Nigerians were not cautious of infectious diseases, hence little is known by Nigerians about infectious disease.

According to her, Nigerians generally refer to malaria as fever without knowing that fever was just a symptom of many diseases. “Do you know we only have about 20 per cent of fever in children due to malaria, while the remaining 80 per cent are due to other health issues? Of that 80 per cent not due to malaria, about 83 per cent of it are treated mistakenly for malaria whereas they are not.”

While calling on Nigerians to be imbibe proper hygiene, she said defecating and urinating in drainage systems, was one sure way of inviting infections.

The conveyer of the event who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer, Global Infectious Diseases Initiative, Dr. FolarinOlubowale, said the event was organised to awaken the consciousness of Nigerians and to collaborate with physicians on infectious diseases.

“I decided to do this to bring awareness on infectious diseases into Nigeria and the possibility of having collaboration with universities and healthcare professionals who are interested in addressing infectious diseases, so that we can all look into the field and effectively tackling it.

“At the end of the day, I want to be able to go into partnership with established institutions to establish a centre of excellence which will be referral from all over. People with complications, infections will have experts attending to them

The Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr. Jide Idris, said government has partnered with a number of organisations and persons tackling infectious diseases, adding that further collaboration was needed to address infectious diseases.