Stakeholders in the health sector say the Global Medicine Safety Week Social Media Campaign will raise awareness among Malawians about the potential consequences of self-administering antibiotics without the guidance of qualified medical practitioners.
The central objective of this campaign is to foster a culture of vigilance and transparency by encouraging individuals to report suspected side effects of medicines under the theme “Who Can Report.”
Leading health expert, Maziko Matemba, asserts that a significant portion of the populace currently lacks comprehensive insight into the medications they consume, thereby highlighting this as a critical health concern.
The Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) has also voiced its support for the campaign, recognizing its capacity to influence manufacturers positively.
George Jobe, the Executive Director of MHEN, articulates that reporting medication side effects to pharmaceutical companies serves as a catalyst for the development of safer and more effective drugs.
Furthermore, the local regulatory authority, the Pharmacy and Medical Regulatory Authority (PMRA), has aligned itself with the rest of the world in embracing this crucial campaign.
Joseph Josia, the spokesperson for PMRA, underscores the significance of the initiative, stating: “The continuous collection and vigilant monitoring of information derived from these reports not only helps identify potential risks associated with medicines but also enables timely interventions to minimize harm.”
Commencing in 2017, the Global Medicine Safety Week is an annual event observed from the 6th to the 12th of November, devoted to enhancing public awareness of medication safety and responsible consumption.
By Romeo Umali