How Nigeria is tackling opioid bottlenecks

Categories: Leadership.

GAPRI’s fellow in Nigeria Tunji Odelola writing in the Africa edition of ehospice looks at how the erratic availability of opioid analgesics together with administrative bottlenecks saw negligible opioid consumption in Nigeria – the average opioid coverage rate was 0.2% between 2008 and 2010. Nigeria also had an estimated 180,000 annual deaths in untreated pain.

GAPRI’s involvement in Nigeria followed advocacy that had been ongoing at different levels by non-governmental organisations, civil society associations, and key individuals in pain management and palliative care in Nigeria, both within and outside of the country.

In 2011 GAPRI started collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure opioid availability for the treatment of moderate to severe pain and to generate demand among prescribers and patients. The involvement of national stakeholders including the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Nigeria (HPCAN) and the Society for the Study of Pain, means that a multi-sectoral approach is being developed to expand access to pain relief. 

Approximately 20 kilograms of oral morphine powder arrived at the Central Medical Stores at the end of November 2012 and GAPRI is working with relevant agencies to produce oral morphine. The Nigerian government is renovating the Federal Manufacturing Laboratory in Lagos for production of oral morphine solution. In addition, pharmacists from selected tertiary hospitals across the country will be trained by GAPRI in collaboration with HPCAN on production of oral morphine solution. Awareness workshops are also being developed for caregivers in pain management, measuring pain, and the dosing and administration of morphine.

Read the full article in the Africa edition of ehospice.



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