Foundation set to train medicine vendors, pharmacists in Borno

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No fewer than 400 patent medicine vendors and 20 community pharmacists are to be trained in Borno state to enhance primary health care delivery under the Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation Integra Te, 2.0 project.

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Mr Johnson Ekenna, the Regional Programme Manager of the project being implemented by Society of Family Health, announced this in Maiduguri on Saturday during a stakeholders meeting with officials of Borno Ministry of Health.

Ekenna said that the programme would expand access to family planning and other PHC services through the vendors and pharmacists.

He explained that the trainees would be equipped to ensure quality family planning in mothers as well as manage Malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition in under-five children.

“This would enable them to identify danger signs and manage the diseases of the children before making appropriate referrals in line with national guidelines,” Ekenna said.

He said the need for the project was compelled by the scarcity of health workforce, worsened by brain drain that seriously affected the health Sector.

“Our doctors, pharmacists, nurses are living the country enmass, but the patent vendors and pharmacists we have are resources we can rely on if their capacities are well built, and brought under regulations and supervision. They can fill the gap,” he said.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Mohammad Ghuluze, lauded the initiative and pledged the support of government towards its success.

He said that due to issues of many quacks among patent medicine vendors, the ministry would ensure that only registered ones benefited from the project in Borno.