The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has reiterated its call on Ghanaians to have personal pharmacists whom they could consult for advice on their medications and other health information.
President of the Society, Samuel Kow Donkoh, said this had become even more imperative in the era of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to reduce health complications resulting from abuse of medicines.
“People are jumping on all sorts’ of medicines to boost immunity and for prophylaxis but it’s not always about taking medications. For instance, there is no need to take high doses of Vitamin C and Zinc if you are not infected with COVID-19. Good food, exercises and rest is enough and even if you have to take supplements it should be within the daily recommended dose,” he said.
Mr Donkoh was speaking to the Ghanaian Times on the occasion of the launch of this year’s World Pharmacists Day (WPD) on Friday.
On the theme; “Pharmacy: Always trusted for your health,” WPD is commemorated every September 25, to recognise the critical role of pharmacists in improving quality healthcare delivery.
Recognising the pharmacy practice as one of the “most trusted professions” globally and often the first port of call for medical advice, the president, urged practitioners to leverage that opportunity to improve patient health in the country.
“Our society is in a time of general distrust which is fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the information around it. At a time of uncertainty and when vaccines hesitancy remains a major hurdle, the long-standing public trust in pharmacy is more important than ever before,” he said.
Mr Donkoh further urged the public to buy their medications only from registered licenced pharmacists and pharmacies to reduce risk of being exposed to sub-standard drugs which could be detrimental to their health.
“If you do not have anyone you call your pharmacist you must have one. Insist on seeing the pharmacist whenever you walk into a pharmacy. Every medicine you take, ask your pharmacist is it safe, is the dose right, what time do Itake it, at what frequency etc, it is very essential,” he advised.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in a speech read on his behalf, implored pharmacists to strive hard to maintain high standards in the profession to preserve public trust.
He said, aside pharmacists being the first pot of call in the community, they were the last resort after patients have been diagnosed by physicians therefore, “the right choices made at this point ensures the overall safety of the patient and a wrong decision will adversely affect the patient.”
The Minister said pharmacists were key in realiSing government’s plans to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines among other services to improve the health sector and that the Pharmacy Directorate of the Ministry would work closely with the PSGH for the benefit of Ghanaians.