The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has organised a day’s capacity building workshop for 80 community pharmacists in the Greater Accra Region to enhance their service delivery for the benefit of their communities.
It is also to build their capacity with up to speed information and ideas to effectively dispense drugs and report their related side effects.
The workshop was organised by the FDA in collaboration with the Community Practice Pharmacists Association (CPPA) and funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom.
Mr Seth Seaneke, the Head of Drug Registration and Inspectorate Division, FDA, said the training was to improve reporting rate and enhance signal generation for better patient protection.
He said it was also to enhance patients’ participation in the management of their conditions to better comply with the dos and don’ts when taking the medication.
He pointed out that patients’ safety was vital in the treatment regime and, as such, the FDA was particularly concerned with working to reverse the appalling trend.
Mrs Adela Ashie, the Head of Vigilance Unit under the Safety Monitoring Department of the FDA, encouraged health professionals to report all suspected adverse drugs reactions due to medical error, side effects, therapeutic ineffectiveness, suspended pharmaceutical or medical device defects and other quality issues.
She said Ghana joined the World Health Programme for International Drug Monitoring in November 2001, to help reduce adverse drug reactions and prevent unnecessary harm to patients and ensure public confidence in medicines.
She said the Authority had developed tools to enable patients to report the side effects of drugs including filling forms at community pharmacies, dubbed: “The Blue Form,” with details of the symptoms, medicine and other information that would be forwarded to the FDA for action.
Patients could also text the details to the short code 4015 or file reports online via the FDA’s website; www.fdaghana.gov.gh and via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Charles Allotey, the Immediate Past Chairman of the CPPA, charged pharmacists to continuously report health issues to be captured into the national database that would be used to enhance patient information.
Dr Daniel Amaning Danquah, the Head of Department, Education, Training and Research, Pharmacy Council, said the Council would implement performance-based regulation to reward hardworking professionals and urged them to use the knowledge acquired to ensure patient safety.