Pharmacists Bemoan Poor Governance, Leadership Structure In Health Sector

Arising from week-long activities to mark the 2023 Pharmaceutical Week, Pharmacists in Akwa Ibom State said lack of proper leadership and governance remains the bane of development in most Hospitals and the Health sector at large, adding that it is one of the key reasons for sub-optimal health outcomes.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Akwa Ibom State branch stated this in a communique made available to Journalists over the weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The week, with the theme tagged, “Pharmacists strengthening health system” had provided professionals in the field ample opportunity to x-ray and proffer solutions to some of the challenges facing the profession.

The communique which decried the existence of a master-servant relationship in hospitals and the healthcare sector at large, where the leadership is ceded to only a certain category of health professionals stressed that “It is only a teamwork approach to healthcare delivery, where every health professional with requisite training in Hospital or Health administration can have an opportunity to superintend over our Hospitals, that would drive optimal health outcomes.”

Pharmacists encouraged the Akwa Ibom State government to reap the low-hanging opportunities offered by local manufacturing of Pharmaceutical products to shore up the revenue base of the state and create employment, by expanding and commercializing the drug manufacturing unit of the central medical stores.

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While appealing to Governor Umo Eno to consider the appointment of a Pharmacist as the Senior Special Assistant on Pharmaceutical Research and Development to drive this agenda, they called for a paradigm shift in the health sector in Akwa Ibom State that would ensure adequate training and mentoring of young pharmacists through the institution of internship programmes in our General Hospitals.

The Association recommended utilising the unique skill sets of Pharmacists in Health financing and the involvement of community pharmacies in this drive towards universal health coverage in Akwa Ibom State.

They recalled that pharmacists showed their competency in indigenous manufacturing and import substitution through the manufacturing of hand sanitisers and patenting of herbal remedies during the Covid-19 pandemic and further encouraged Pharmacists in Akwa Ibom State to strengthen their competencies by embracing specialisation and new models of innovation to ensure improved service delivery.

The Communique highlighted thus, “We are deeply concerned that the Pharmacist per capita ratio in Nigeria is 1: 22,000 ( based on 220M population) as against the World Health Organisation recommendation of 1: 5000. To this end, we call for the employment of Pharmacists to fill the existing gaps in some government hospitals in Akwa Ibom State. This will ensure that healthcare consumers have the benefits of pharmaceutical care and guarantee of safety in drug therapy”.

The Communique also deeply appreciated and commended Governor Eno for his efforts in revitalizing primary healthcare centres in Akwa Ibom and the progress made in fulfilling his promise to deliver health insurance to Akwa Ibom people by setting up the Akwa Ibom Health Insurance Agency.

The events which heralded the just concluded 2023 Akwa Ibom State Pharmacy Week led by the state Chairman, Pharm. Abasiama Uwatt includes Thanksgiving service, fitness and health walk, corporate social responsibility to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child by the Association of Lady Pharmacists, a plenary session featuring group dynamics by the various technical groups, exhibitions by pharmaceutical companies and the launching of the historic 87.5m Pharmacy House project.

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