More Pharmacists Needed


James Ohemeng-Kyei 
THE PRESIDENT of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), James Ohemeng-Kyei, has called for the training of more professional pharmacists in the country.

Mr Ohemeng-Kyei made the call whilst interacting with the media on Thursday at Amasaman, a suburb of Accra, on the occasion of this year’s World Pharmacists Day celebration held under the theme: ‘Access To Pharmacists Is Access To Health.’

According to him, whilst the rest of the world, particularly the Western World had made tremendous progress with their pharmacist-to-population ratio, the situation in Ghana was absolutely pathetic.

He said, ‘The situation in Ghana today is regrettable as we are very far as a nation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended pharmacist-to-population ratio of 1:2000.’

Ghana, the pharmacist observed, currently has a ratio of one pharmacist to about 12,500 patients far below the WHO recommendation.

This situation, he said was being further worsened by a gross geographical imbalance with most pharmacists choosing to serve only in a few major regional capitals.

Further speaking, he added that the low number of pharmacists in the country was leading to ‘many rural and even sub-urban folks receiving and taking all sorts of substances as remedies for all kinds of conditions without the necessary pharmaceutical care and or support.’

Tasks
He charged the government to, among other things, ensure that every district in Ghana is serviced by at least two pharmacists in both public and private facilities.

Fake Drugs
The pharmacist noted that there was a high level of the sale and importation of fake drugs into the country and across the entire West African sub-region, calling for effective collaboration among PSG, government, regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical industries, among others, to put in place structures to tackle the menace.

Education
As part of activities to climax the celebration, PSG embarked on an Ebola and cholera education campaign and mass deworming of about 2,000 students at the Amasaman Cluster of Schools.

Background
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana was established in 1935 in the then Gold Coast as an umbrella body of professional pharmacists in the country.

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the global federation of the 127 member country associations of pharmacists established in 1912, introduced the World Pharmacists Day in 2009 during its council meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey to be celebrated globally on September 25 as a way of highlighting the varied impactful roles pharmacists play in society.

 BY Melvin Tarlue
 

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