Pharm. Kwabena Asante Offei speaking with the media at the event
Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Pharm. Kwabena Asante Offei, has urged the government to make strengthening of the country’s health system a priority.
“Strengthening the health system will require designation of community pharmacies as primary healthcare centres and equipping pharmacists and the pharmaceutical workforce with the needed skills, competences and training to be able to take on more expanded and advance roles,” he added.
Pharm. Offei was speaking at the commemoration of the World Pharmacists Day (WPD) on the theme, “Pharmacy Strengthening Health Systems”.
He said the theme for the 2023 WPD is to help avert the minds of pharmacists, policy makers and the public to the need to position pharmacy to be able to help make health systems robust and resilient to withstand the next pandemic and other health situations.
“At a time when health systems as well as economies around the world are gradually recovering from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the consensus is that urgent action is needed for health services to meet future needs,” he said.
Citing examples of how pharmacists helped strengthen health systems, he indicated that when hydroxychloroquine was being explored for treatment of COVID-19 patients, the PSGH mobilized stocks from various pharmacies and made them available to GHS/MOH facilities for treatment of severely ill patients.
“From discovery, manufacturing, compounding, regulation, dispensing and administration of medicines, pharmacists have demonstrated expertise in prevention and treatment of disease,” he said.
He also indicated that a well-functioning health system is one having: an accessible and a reliable supply of medicines and technologies; trained and motivated healthcare workers; good infrastructure, good governance, evidence-based policies and adequate funding.
He added that as part of the celebration, pharmacists in all the regions will this week embark on health screening including BP measurements, BMI, among others.
These will be followed by health education and counseling to ensure we all live healthy and derive the intended benefits from our medications if we have to take medicines for any reason.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri