Accra, The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has called on government to provide the needed and appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for use of community pharmacy practitioners to enable them discharge their duties and reduce risk of infections.
In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency and signed by Pharm. Benjamin K. Botwe, PSGH, President said community pharmacies (and pharmacists) were often the first point of call within the healthcare system for most people with health-related concerns or simply in need of information or reliable advice, hence the need to be resourced against infections.
It said as the professional body of pharmacists, PSGH has continued to reach out to its membership on the appropriate measures to take to contribute professionally towards mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (PMAG) to make available locally prepared sanitizers in bulk to community pharmacies.
“The PSGH is also engaging and collaborating with small scale pharmaceutical manufacturers to prepare alcohol-based hand sanitizers for supply to community pharmacies,” it said.
It said all pharmacists are also entreated to bring their pharmaceutical knowledge and expertise to bear in these critical times and extemporaneously prepare safe and efficacious alcohol-based hand sanitizers for use by various facilities, staff, personnel and the general public.
It said the PSGH calls on all pharmacists to apprise themselves of the directives issued by the President of the Republic and the regular updates on the disease and urged members to familiarize themselves with the case definition for COVID-19 and to adhere to all the relevant standard operating procedures (SOPs) relating to COVID-19 as well as general infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols.
It called on all community pharmacies to link up with the District Health Management Team (DHMT) within their localities to activate the protocols for dealing with suspected cases if need be.
Additionally it assured the citizenry that pharmacies have the shared responsibility of storing appropriate stocks of pharmaceutical products (medicines, masks, etc) to supply on demand, informing and educating the public, counselling, referring, promoting disease prevention and promoting infection control.
It called on the public to call on pharmacists and pharmacies in their locality for appropriate, accurate and reliable information on infection prevention, management and control.
It said the PSGH has monitored several reports of shortage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers resulting in escalating prices and this situation has led to members of the public resorting to the use of various alcoholic beverages including ‘akpeteshie’ as hand sanitizers.
It said the practice was unacceptable and must not be entertained since these beverages do not contain the strength of alcohol required for antimicrobial activity.
“We wish to take this opportunity to advise all wholesalers and retailers of sanitizers not to take advantage of the situation to further aggravate the anxiety of the population,” it said.
The PSGH commended His Excellency the President of the Republic and his government for the leadership shown so far and for the resources pledged to support the fight against COVID-19 and would continue to make its input into the national effort as a member of the national technical coordinating committee on COVID-19.
Source: Ghana News Agency