DKT International holds Pharmacovigilance workshop in Bolgatanga

By Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA

Oct. 19, GNA – The Dharmandra Kumar Tyagi (DKT) International Ghana a
Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Wednesday, held a stakeholder forum in
Bolgatanga to school Pharmacists, Midwives and Over The Counter (OTC) medicine
sellers on the need to report complains of adverse drug effects for action.

Mr Adamu
Abdulai, the Assistant General Manager of DKT International Ghana, who facilitated
the workshop, said the Organisation was established in 2011, but started
operations in Ghana in 2012.

He said it held
similar workshops across the country to enlighten stakeholders on the adverse
effects of drugs, especially DKT products and urged health professionals to
report any side effects of any of its products, for appropriate action.

International deals in reproductive and family planning products such as
contraceptive pills, fiesta strawberry lubricants and condoms among others.

Mr Abdulai said
his outfit concentrated on family planning products because it wanted members
of the public to plan their families to help improve their living

He noted that
some admissions to hospitals were as a result of adverse drug reactions, “We
combine a lot of drugs that we are not supposed to combine and because of
drug-drug interactions, we might end up in the hospital,” he said.

He said some
people were of the wrong opinion that herbal medicines had no side effects, and
explained that because the toxicity of herbal medicines were not known, some
members of the public took it for granted that it was safe to take them anyhow.

Dr Abdul-Razak
Dokurugu, the Upper East Regional Deputy Director of Health Services in charge
of Clinical Care, said the essence of the workshop was in line with the Ghana
Health Service policy of educating members of the public.

He said health
professionals could not carry out their mandate of informing the public if they
were not well informed themselves about the adverse effects of the
pharmacological products they prescribed to their clients.

Dr Dokurugu
said some of the products of the Organisation were new to health professionals,
especially midwives, “so it is good that the facilitator is taking his time to
explain how they work and what the benefits are, it will help our workers
educate the general public on how to use some of these contraceptives.”

He said the
workshop was in detail and the health professionals would have significant
levels of what pharmacovigilance was about, adding that pharmacovigilance was
one of the key pillars in managing patients introduced onto medications.

The Deputy
Director said pharmacovigilance gave patients the opportunity to understand the
medicines they took and the potential unwanted effects to expect.

“So in one
aspect, you are arming the patient who is using the medicine, and on the second
aspect you are arming the health care worker to have a deeper understanding
because it opens up the communication between the user and the prescriber.”

Ms Evelyn
Lugugia, a Midwife at the Ayamfoaya Memorial Clinic at Kongo in the Nabdam
District, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in interview after the workshop that
“I have learnt a lot about reporting on adverse effects of drugs, it will not
only help me in my midwifery practice, but will help in my general practice.”

She said “I
would share the knowledge with the rest of the health professionals at my
facility so that they would be able to help the general public.”