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Regional News of Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Source: GNA

Pharmacists play important role in health delivery - Mr Adjei

Mr Godfried Adjei, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Pharmacy (GCP), has underscored the important role pharmacists play in the health delivery system of the country.

He said Ghana, as a developing country, was faced with a number of health related issues such HIV/AIDS and malaria and that the services pharmacists rendered were very much needed to ensure rational use of drugs.

A statement signed by him and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday said the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a ratio of one pharmacist per 2000 population in order for optimal health care delivery, adding “In Ghana pharmacist-patient ratio is 12 : 700.”

It said a lot of countries had realized the immerse contribution of pharmacists in the health delivery system and had set targets to meet the WHO recommendation, “A typical example is Malaysia.”

According to the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), 70 per cent of districts hospitals in the Northern Region were without pharmacists and the statement noted that “In 2011 no pharmacist was employed into the Ghana Health Service (GHS).”

“This is very worrying since the hardworking pharmacists are committed in offering their rich knowledge and skills to provide pharmaceutical services to patients,” he added.

The statement said a research conducted in Ghana on 160 patients indicated 17.5 per cent of medication errors and that this was high.

It said the indiscriminate use of herbal, buying of orthodox drugs from peddlers with wrong directions, taking medicines without any expert advice and private and public hospitals pharmacist/dispensary operated by non-pharmacist were issues that must be looked at.

The statement said Ghana had potential pharmaceutical manufacturing sub-sector and that local pharmaceutical players such as Ernest Chemist, Kinapharma, DanAdams and Phyto Riker play important role in the country economy by providing safe, good quality and affordable medications to meet the basic health needs of the populace.

“It is estimated that Ghana consumes about 300 million United States dollars in pharmaceutical products each year of which per cent is imported and 30 per cent locally produce.”

The statement welcomed and congratulated the Council of the Ghana College of Pharmaceutical (CGCP) which was inaugurated on December 20th 2012.

“We are so much confident in the members of the CGCP and we believe that they have employed their rich experience to improve pharmacy practice as well as improve the quality of pharmaceutical services offered to the people of Ghana.”