Nigerians have been advised by public health experts to conduct risk assessments of their homes and use slip-resistant tiles to prevent dangerous bathroom falls and associated health risks.
In light of the recent death of Yoruba actor and filmmaker Murphy Afolabi, the physicians emphasized the importance of prioritizing safety over luxury and removing hazardous objects from homes that could pose a danger during emergencies.
Dr. Festus Adetonwa, a public health physician and the Head of Occupational Health and Safety Unit at the Ogun State Ministry of Health, highlighted the need to eliminate potential hazards in the house. He explained that bathroom falls can result from structural design negligence or inadequate finishing works.
Dr. Adetonwa stressed the significance of choosing appropriate tiles for bathrooms, cautioning against using slippery and shiny tiles that increase the risk of accidents. He emphasized the potential consequences of falls, such as fractures, broken limbs, twisted ankles, or even fatal head injuries.
To ensure safety, Dr. Adetonwa advised implementing effective preventive measures in bathrooms. He emphasized the importance of identifying and removing dangerous hazards, urging individuals to prioritize life over luxury. Changing the tiles to non-slippery alternatives or opting for tile-free bathrooms were suggested as viable options to minimize risks.
In the event of a bathroom fall, Dr. Adetonwa advised seeking immediate medical attention at the nearest hospital. He also emphasized the importance of educating oneself about potential hazards at home and taking proactive steps to eliminate them.
Dr. Chris Okafor, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, emphasized the need for awareness and sensitization campaigns to promote safety in homes and the environment.
Citing a report titled “Preventing Falls at Home: Room by Room” published by the United States National Institutes of Health, the experts highlighted various measures to prevent falls at home. Recommendations included installing grab bars near toilets and in showers, using non-skid mats or carpeting on wet surfaces, and ensuring sufficient lighting, especially during nighttime bathroom visits.
Overall, public health professionals emphasized the importance of proactive risk assessment, hazard removal, and implementing safety measures to prevent bathroom falls and protect individuals’ well-being.