Pharmacy professionals brace up to tackle drug abuse

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Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Dr. Moses Batema

By Joseph Sesay(Josestar-Intern)

Dr. Moses Batema echoes; “In the days of the P&D act, when dispensers were grandfathered to pharmacists, things were better, you would see pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in most premises you visit”.

The Director of Pharmaceutical Services, urges his contemporaries within the pharmaceutical sector in Sierra Leone to brace up for tighter regulations in the importation, distribution and provision of pharmaceutical care in the country amidst calls from government to tackle the rampant misuse and abuse of drugs nationwide.

Pharmacy professionals in Sierra Leone are charged with the responsibilities of being the sole custodians of drugs and medical supplies. But lately, many perceive the pharmaceutical sector a travesty of its recent past with unregulated drug dealers plying the nook and cranny of the country.

“It is unacceptable that we can relinquish 5-6 years of study, and leave all of that knowledge to unregulated drug peddlers,’’ he said.

Senior Pharmacist, Dr. Adikali Kamara highlighted the significance of bringing onboard new regulations in the not too distant future.

He stated the need for professional presence to be heightened in all pharmaceutical outlets in order to provide more accountability and supervision in the way and manner at which importers and wholesalers distribute pharmaceuticals nationwide. 

He emphasised the need for professionals to always be in their traditional white coats. 

The pharmacy guru emphasised the need to design a framework that would enhance transparency in the drug distribution supply chain in the country so as to prevent unscrupulous members from polluting the profession and the industry in its entirety.

In another development, the Pharmacy Board SierraLeone, convened a meeting of all pharmacy professionals to discuss critical challenges within the pharmaceutical sector especially its human resource.

The meeting held at the Portuguese Town Church recently comprised, Ministry of Health Senior Management personnel like the Chief Pharmacist Dr. Moses Batema, President of Pharmaceutical Society Dr. Eugene Conteh, Deputy Minister of Health Professor Charles Senessie, Chief Medical Officer–Dr. Sartie Kanneh, Managing Director of National Medicines Supply Agency – Dr. Lawrence Sandy and the dean of Pharmaceutical Sciences Dr. Mohamed Bayoh.

The team expressed their commitment to helping the board strengthen and implement the necessary regulations in ensuring that drug and drug related issues receive the utmost attention within the ministry.

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