BY ABUCHI IFESINACHI, AWKA
Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra has tasked pharmacists in the country to redirect their attention to rural areas and help monitor the activities of quack medicine dealers.
Obiano made the call while declaring open the 23rd Anambra Annual Conference of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in Awka?on Thursday.
The theme of the conference is ?Public Health ? The Role of the Pharmacist?.
Obiano, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Primary Healthcare, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, said that the activities of quacks medicine dealers had done more harm than good.
?Effective monitoring of quack medicine dealers especially the traditional and patent medicine dealers could reduce the dangers posed on the people in hinterland areas,? he said.
Obiano, who obsereved that the challenge of lack of manpower pharmacists were facing were the same with other medical profession, promised to employ more hands in the state health sector.
The governor, who announced that the state took first position in 2013 immunisation exercise, said that his administration had mapped out strategic plan to curtail the spread of meningitis.
Obiano while commending the collaboration among pharmacists, doctors and other health workers in the state assured that he would ensure the continuation of the partnership.
He promised that his administration would stop at nothing until it achieved results in the provision of adequate healthcare delivery both in rural and urban areas.
In an address of welcome, the state chairman of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mrs Chisom Uchem, described the theme as apt and timely.
Uchem said that the theme focused attention on the role of pharmacists on patients, their wellbeing and participation in health education which will foster attitudinal and behavioral change.
According to her, the sub-theme will also address pharmacists? role in politics and strategies for business expansion.
She said that the forum would give pharmacists the ample opportunity to brainstorm as well as proffer long lasting solutions to the public health hazard of patronising unapproved drug dealers.
?It will also provide veritable platform for health providers in the pharmacy sector to partner the state government on regulations, legislation and other restrictive mechanism to forestall catastrophe resulting from intake of fake and adulterated pharmaceutical products,? Uchem said.
In a keynote address, the Deputy National President of PSN (South), Dr Ernest Okoli, called on governments at all level to engage the community pharmacists in the administration of immunization.
He contended that with the pharmacists, the job of carrying out effective immunization in rural communities would be made easier as the pharmacists were more grounded in drug administration.