Every medicine in Nigeria is imported -ACPN
The National Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria -ACPN says every medicine in Nigeria is imported.
This was made known by the Chairman of the association Adewale Oladigbolu in an interview with a verified source. While unveils plans to improve drug distribution, achieve Universal Health Coverage before year 2030
During the interview, he raised an issue saying, it used to be said that we are ranked 187 out of 191 World Health Organisation -WHO member nations on health systems. Also just said the country has now moved up to 163 out of 191 nations. Does it mean we made progress? Meanwhile, the Federal Government -FG recently announced that community pharmacists would be part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Is this one of those things on paper or has it started?
“Nigeria is not static and I used to tell a lot of people that the rest of the world cannot leave us behind for a long time.” And that is because “information technology is helping us in a number of ways. For example, whatever knowledge is not available to me now, will be available to me in the next one minute, if I am serious about it. And that is helping a lot of people to live a better life.”
“It is helping the healthcare providers to be better informed and better in the management of disease conditions. It is also helping our nation, Nigeria, in a way because people are now informed about what takes place outside the country.”
“So, I will link this to vaccination programme because in the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K.), pharmacists are vaccinators, so it breaks down barrier. People can walk in at any moment because of improved access to pharmacies, no barrier to pharmacists. So, they walk in and take their vaccine and they go out.”
“Because Nigeria has learned a lot of things from these, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has come out with that policy that we are going to have pharmacy-based immunisation programme.”
“We have had several discussions with them. They have accredited at least 30 pharmacies in the Federal CapitalTerritory -FCT Abuja and we are using the opportunity to call on state governors and commissioners of health in Rivers State, in Lagos State to, please, collaborate with NPHCDA so that pharmacies that are willing to be used as vaccination centres can have quick accreditation.”
“In FCT, I can assure you in the next 72 hours, there will be rollout of vaccination in community pharmacies. This is the way to go because it will improve access and it will drive down vaccine hesitancy because pharmacists are trusted within and outside the Nigerian system. We are trusted healthcare providers to the extent that sometimes when we have to refer people to government hospitals, they will be begging us not to because they will be wondering whether their case is that bad that we have to send them to a hospitalSo, they believe us and if we tell them that vaccine is safe, they will believe us. Not only that, our involvement with antiretroviral drugs refill in community pharmacy partnering with public hospitals has shown that the degree of apathy and the degree of depression that Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) patients suffer is no longer there because they are coming to community pharmacies. They see HIV like everyday illness and they are living a better life. So, we know that this programme is for the good of Nigerians. It has started in the FCT and it will spread round the country.”
“We commend NPHCDA for the inclusion of community pharmacists in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. These are examples of how policy changes can contribute to the wellbeing of Nigerians and we commend NPHCDA and the IntegratE project for these. With your good office, we believe that a larger percentage of the population will be better informed about the potential of community pharmacy practice.”