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PCN tasks pharmacists on networking for quality healthcare delivery

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) says Networking among members of the healthcare team for the good of the patient is central to quality healthcare delivery.

The Registrar of PCN, Babashehu Ahmed, who stated this at the ongoing Conference of Association of hospital and administrative pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) in Lafia, Nasarawa state, described networking as “key to tackling diseases”.

Mr Ahmed Spoke against the backdrop of the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) declaration of Monkeypox Outbreak as a Public Health emergency of International concern, coupled with the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus in some parts of the world, including Nigeria.

“I want to use this opportunity to appreciate the National Chairman, AHAPN and his executives, Local organising committee for putting up this scientific conference with the theme “”COVID-19 experience: Expanding the role of health system pharmacist”,” he said.

“The theme is quite timely and justified. COVID-19 pandemic is an experience the world would not forget in a hurry as it brought about an unprecedented crisis, meeting even developed countries in a state of unpreparedness.

“Available healthcare facilities and personnel were stretched beyond capacities necessitating the deployment of new logic and approaches to cope with the rapidly changing emergency.”

 The critical role they play

The Registrar commended the resilience of Nigerian pharmacists in the national response to COVID-19, which provided a rare but golden opportunity for pharmacists to showcase the latent potential, (majorly untapped) critical role they play in providing quality healthcare service delivery.

 “During the pandemic, pharmacists contributed to the maintenance of medication supply reasonably, produced hand sanitizers, collaborated with other healthcare professionals in the development of COVID-19 management protocols, which assisted in some clinical decision-making, management of drug interactions, participated in in-patient rounds, and clinical trials, delivery of telepharmacy and telehealth services,” the registrar ennumerated.

“This improved public perception of pharmacists in no small measure.”

Maintaining drug supply in hospitals

Mr Ahmed said going by the experience with disease outbreaks, there is no doubt that the emerging realities have provided evidence that supports the major role played by Pharmacists in Primary Healthcare delivery and public health, which is enhanced by their accessibility.

He, therefore, advised the Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists to ensure Effective inventory management that would maintain drug supplies in hospitals across the country while strategies to reduce out-of stock syndrome should be adopted.

Pharmacists should also brainstorm on “creative strategies and approaches” that support their role in the health-care system, the registrar implored.

According to him, Opportunities for improvement abound in building capacities of health system in Infection Prevention and Control practices, active participation in clinical trials and publication of studies describing pharmaceutical clinical activities. 

This, he added, explains why it is quite important for pharmacists to “build on the gains”, not dropping their guards, but rather continue to rise to “this daunting challenge” of good pharmacy practice, and infection prevention in Nigeria.

Reporting by Maureen Eke; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor