Mr Rojo Mettle Nunoo, Deputy Minister of Health, on Wednesday asked pharmacists to reposition their professional practice to meet the substantial demand for medical care, posed by the coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
“Your untapped professional skills in the face of the unmet expectations of the client constitute the platform for refocusing on a new business model for pharmacy practice in Ghana,” he said. Mr. Mettle-Nunoo made the request in a speech read on his behalf at the 2010 launch of Continuing Education Training for pharmacists, organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) in conjunction with the Pharmacy Council (PC) Accra.
“As pharmacist, you should see your training in pharmacy, customer orientation and access to clients as vital to your core business of medicines supply and assisting your clients in the quality use of medicines through counselling, education and support. “This will provide a good fit with the emerging pharmacy business philosophy that would be driven by client needs, professional satisfaction, business rewards and better relationship with other care providers,” he stressed.
Mr. Nunoo called on PSGH to strengthen the academic capacity of training institutions and increase participation of pharmaceutical personnel in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and post graduate programmes. He tasked the society to develop quality assurance systems for pre-service education and CPD programmes. “Continuous education of the health care professional is key to improved health outcomes.” He said the Ministry of Health lauds the collaboration between the PSGH, PC and the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) of the Ghana Health Service in making the nationwide training of pharmacists on the malaria policy, mandatory for re-licensure in 2011.
Mrs Doris Attafuah, Vice President of the PSGH said this years CPD programme focussed on malaria, since the disease is one of the leading causes of illness in Ghana. She said in collaboration with NMCP the society has over the past six weeks engaged in teaching pharmacists on how to diagnose and manage cases of malaria through out the country. “Out of 1,637 pharmacists 1,215 have been trained,” she said. Mr. James Ohemeng Kyei, Chief Pharmacist said malaria accounts for about 40 per cent of all Out Patient Department cases and about 37 per cent of admissions at the health facilities. He said the disease causes maternal anaemia and is responsible for miscarriage and low birth weight.
“It has been documented that in 2006, 13.7 per cent of all admissions of pregnant women was as a result of malaria and 90 per cent of them died from the disease,” he said. Mr Kyei expressed the hope that the CPD would cover chemical sellers to enable them manage uncomplicated malaria cases so that Ghana could achieve the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) four, five and six.
The Chief Pharmacist appealed to the Food and Drugs Board, to investigate an allegation that an Accra-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company is producing chloroquine tablets for distribution by chemical sellers for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria cases in the rural areas.
“If it is true that chloroquine is still in use, then it is a recipe for the development of resistant strains and therefore a big barrier in the achievement of the health related MDGs.” Source: GNA
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