The Ministry of Health is re-focusing its policies to guarantee affordable and cost effective primary health care to the citizenry.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo who made this known on Friday said it was necessary to take drastic measures to achieve rapid results on the policies to ensure accelerated attainment of health targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Addressing the Annual General Meeting of Government and Hospital Pharmacist Association (GHOSPA) in Accra, Mr Mettle-Nunoo noted that pharmacists were an essential part of the clinical care team and could offer a lot towards quality therapeutic care especially the achievement of the health related MDGs.
“I am convinced that you can significantly contribute towards reducing maternal mortality and achievement of MDGs. In drug production I challenge you to produce adequate quantities of safe and efficacious haematinics (blood tonics) with the right quality of elemental iron needed for both ante and post natal care of pregnant women.”
“This would help address the incidence of severe anaemia which is the cause of maternal mortality in Ghana,” he said.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo challenged pharmacists to ensure all year round availability and proper storage of uterotonics particularly oxytocin and ergometrine injection to effectively ensure implementation of the Active Management of the Third Stage of Labour at all levels.
As key members of the Drug and Therapeutics Committee in the various hospitals, he said: “I urge you to help strengthen the committees at all levels in order to ensure reduction of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) and medication errors and Rational Use of Medicines, which is key to the successful implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme, reduction of ADRs and medication errors.”
Dr Elias Sory, Director General of Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the role of pharmacists in the comprehensive care of patients could not be over emphasised and called on them to give off their best despite the challenges facing their operations.
He said pharmacists in public institutions should be ready to accept postings to deprived areas.
Dr Sory therefore, called on the Ministry of Health (MOH) to institute attractive packages for health professionals in deprived areas to encourage them to accept postings.
Mr James Ohemeng Kyei, Chief Pharmacist of the MOH, said a four-year tour of the Northern Region had been instituted for senior pharmacists before being promoted.
Mr Annim Addo, Chairman of the GHS Council urged pharmacists to be time conscious in all their endeavours.
Mr. Raymond Tetteh, Chairman of GHOPSA said the concept of seven-star pharmacist, introduced by the World Health Organisation, indicated the pharmacist as a care giver, communicator, decision maker, teacher, life-long learner, leader and manager, “therefore pharmacists should be seen as such and not only their traditional roles”.
He said although there had been a review in their salaries, there was the need to further improve their conditions of service.
Mr Tetteh charged members to reflect on the past, chart a new course for the future and consider how to lead the drive in preventive health philosophy of the MOH.
“Our unique role as medicine experts, patient’s counsellors and key health care providers demands that we constantly meet the dynamics of our practice and society by effectively and efficiently managing changes,” he added.