Friday, 30 March 2012

Use of unsafe medicines a key lead in disability

Seven year old Jeremiah Tenywa has been in pain for over three years after an injection which was meant to cure his malaria but instead turn his life to a misery. Tenywa a primary one pupil at Little Muheji Primary school developed what doctors described as a post injection paralysis.

His mother Esther Nabirye took him to a small clinic in Nansana, Wakiso district in 2009 where he was diagnosed with malaria and he was injected on the buttocks with quinine medicine that is when the problem of her son started.

“Upon reaching home, the boy could hardly stand and I immediately took him back to the clinic and reported to the doctor that my child was developing a disability,” she narrates.

Nabirye said that she got confused and did not know what to do  because her son was slowly developing disability and  was advised to take Tenywa to Katalemwa Chesire Home for treatment.


Emmanuel Ssekidde a psychiatric nursing officer at Katalemwa Chesire Home said that Tenywa was injected in the muscles instead of the vain which left right his leg lame.
“Quinine can cause paralysis if accidentally injected into a nerve or muscle.  Stop using quinine and call your doctor if you have  serious side effects,” Ssekidde said.
He was Thursday speaking at press conference organized by Community Health and Information Network (CHAIN) at Fairway Hotel in Kampala.
 Ssekidde said that in a month the home receives 60 patients whose disability has been cause by injections. He however said that the disability can be corrected if the patient is taken to the hospital earlier enough before the situation gets out of hand.
He said that part from other diseases that affects children, unsafe use of medicines the second and wrongly administered injections are the leading in causes of disabilities at the home.
Regina Namatta the project coordinator of CHAIN said that 50 percent of patient in the country failed to use medicine correctly resulting into wastage of scarce resources, development of resistance and wild spread health hazards.
“The practice of unsafe use of medicine is a global public health problem causing death, disability and injury tom adults, children and unborn babies,” She said.
Namatta said that the most common abused medicines are antibiotics, adding that the situation is worsened further by the fact that majority of the private outlets are manned by unqualified medical personnel, and those that are managed by qualified personnel, they patients do not also get sufficient information on how to use the medicine.
Ruth Mukiibi one of the victims of unsafe medicine, said that last year she lost her pregnancy  when she suffered urinary tract infection (  UTI) she  was prescribed Metronidazole but did not cure  the infection.
She later went Mulago hospital and was given Cipiophelaxine to heal the infection but instead terminated her pregnancy.
Mukiibi went back to the doctor after getting a miscarriage and the doctor whom she did not want to name apologized that he was sorry he gave her a medicine which was not supposed to be given to an expectant mothers.
“The doctor told me that he was sorry that he had killed my baby, I would n’t  have taken Cipiophelaxine while pregnant,” she said.

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