The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to support the eight Covid-19 treatment centres and 2,000 community pharmacists nationwide.
The items included goggles, face shields, aprons/gowns, and PSGH-branded nose masks and hand sanitizers.
Mr Benjamin Kwame Botwe, the President of the PSGH, in a statement, said the move was to demonstrate support for and motivate the staff of community pharmacies who have become the real frontline for the Covid-19.
Mr Botwe said pharmacists in diverse and varied areas of practice had played their roles as part of the frontline healthcare workers to contribute towards efforts at mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The leadership of the PSGH wishes to applaud and acknowledge all pharmacists and all our colleagues in the health professions for the great sacrifices that we have collectively made even at the very risk of our lives and that of our families and friends,” Mr Botwe said.
Mr Botwe said there was the need to focus on Community Pharmacies as they are the first port of call for most people seeking healthcare to ensure they did not become the source of new infections.
According to Botwe community pharmacies have not been systematically factored into the official distribution of PPEs and urged that the trend be quickly corrected.
“The concern of the leadership of PSGH is that this oversight puts not only pharmacists and the pharmaceutical support staff at the risk of getting infected but also the potential of becoming the source of new infections,” he said.
The PSGH calls on the Ministry of Health and government to as a matter of urgency, to consider community pharmacists and the pharmaceutical support staff in the provision of PPE.
“We also call for the inclusion of all community pharmacies and their staff in the implementation of the directive given by the President, HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the tax exemption given to all healthcare workers,” he said.
Mr Botwe suggested getting community pharmacists ready to support the roll-out of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits should they become available and approved by the FDA to aid isolation and treatment.
“This will ultimately help to cut down the number of generations of spread that could occur in this era when test results are routinely delayed for more than a week,” he said.
Even without this, an arrangement to train pharmacists in sample collection for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing could be yet another opportunity to help the national cause as indicated in the new National Guidelines for Laboratory Testing and Reporting on Respiratory Infectious Diseases, he added.