General News of Saturday, 23 September 2017
The fight against worm infestation has received a major boost through collaboration between the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG) and Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Johnson and Johnson, for a joint effort at eradicating worms among school children in Ghana.
Mr Benjamin Kwame Botwe, the President of the PSG, announced this during the launch of this year’s World Pharmacists Day in Accra.
As part of the partnership, an initial drawing and poetry competition in a selected cluster of schools in Accra have been designed to educate children on the dangers of worm infestation and the need for good sanitation and hygiene practices.
This forms part of Janssen’s commitment to advance public health in Ghana.
Mr Botwe commended members of the PSG for their tremendous contribution towards the healthcare of children. He called on the Government to improve the working conditions of pharmacists to enable them to give off their best in healthcare delivery.
Madam Priscilla Owusu Sekyere, the Country Manager of Janssen Company, said the overall campaign targets about 10,000 children from six to 12 years across all the 10 regions of Ghana.
The winners of the competition, she said, would be chosen by a panel of judges made up of pharmacists and teachers, who would receive various educational materials as prizes.
She said: “Following our successful partnership last year with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and the Ghana Education Service, we want to continue working together to help teach primary school children about the dangers of poor sanitation and the importance of effective hand-washing.
“This drawing competition, which will start from the Greater Accra Region, will not only encourage the children through their engagement with each other to pass on the information, but hope it will also help ensure that worm infestations quickly become a thing of the past”
Mr Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Minister of Health, in a speech read on his behalf, said: “This innovative model of collaboration and local empowerment between Janssen, Ghanaian pharmacists and our school children has already seen positive results, and this latest activity is a new opportunity to educate our children.
The unified efforts would take Ghana one step closer to wiping out preventable worm infestations, he said.
“Diseases from parasites and worm infestations, such as guinea-worm, schistosomiasis, helminthiasis and other Neglected Tropical Diseases impose a heavy burden on the population and healthcare services as they affect over 500 million people living in Ghana and other Sub-Saharan African countries.”
Mr Manu said Non Tropical Diseases had a serious impact on school attendance rates, childhood growth and cognitive development, leading to high levels of disability and lost productivity.
He said the World Health Organisation has recommended interventions including a focus on improving environmental factors such as clean water, sanitation and hygiene and it was against that background that the PSG considered the partnership as crucial.
This year’s World Pharmacists Day is being celebrated on the theme: “From Research to Health Care: Your Pharmacist is at Your Service”.
The day is celebrated around the globe to highlight the value of the pharmacy profession.