Address counterfeits, substandard drugs— Pharmacy Council urged (pg 23)

The Ministry of Health (MoH), has urged the Pharmacy Council to address the influx of counterfeit and substandard drugs and the indiscriminate peddling of all manner of medicines across the country.
The ministry has also developed five key priority areas which include improved interventions towards the achievements of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adequate water supply to health facilities, adequate bed supply to the health institutions and harmonising the scattered malarial interventions to ensure effective malarial control to optimise health delivery in Ghana.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Nii Oakley Quaye-Kumah, made this known at the inauguration ceremony of the boards and governing councils of the Pharmacy Council, the Nurses and Midwives Council and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
The Pharmacy Council has nine members and chaired by Mr David Anim-Addo, the KATH board being constituted by 11 members and chaired by Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah while the Nurses and Midwives Council board, which has 21 members, would elect its own chairperson as stipulated by the law.
Dr Quaye-Kumah said it was essential that the Pharmacy Council collaborated with the agencies such as the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), the police and other regulatory bodies to arrest the situation.
The minister called on the Nurses and Midwives Council to “work to ensure that the standards of practice of nursing and midwifery is maintained at its optimum to meet the widely accepted standards particularly in the area of licensing of students”.
To the KATH board, he said the ministry expected the board to go by the motto of the hospital, which is “Centre of Excellence” to ensure that quality health care was not compromised, keeping in mind the importance of client satisfaction.
He urged the newly inaugurated council to re-look at the issues that led to the cancellation of the October, 2009 licensure examinations and “put all efforts to avoid the reoccurrence of such a situation”.
He said the ministry was aware of the importance of a governing board in the overall management of the agencies, hence the delay in getting the boards inaugurated was of grave concern to the ministry.
“I urged you all to think alongside the theme of the health sector, which is ‘Going beyond strategy to action’,” Dr Quaye-Kumah added.
The Board Chairman of the KATH, Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, in his acceptance speech said the hospital, which is the second largest in the country after the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, continued to provide medical services to the most densely populated region of the country.
He said from this perspective, “the demands on the resources of KATH are overstretched and this presents a monumental challenge to the KATH, a challenge which the Board will have to confront during our tenure”.
He said the board would avoid the usurpation of the Chief Executive’s authority but would demand accountability, adding that the board would not be interested in any blame game but in results that would create value for stakeholders.
The Board Chairman of the Pharmacy Council, Mr Anim-Addo, in his remarks said “we pledge our collective responsibility to live up to the task given us”.
A representative of the Nurses and Midwives Council, Ms Maria Sumani, for her part said the council would put in the necessary effort to deal with the challenges facing nurses and midwives in the country.
She called for government support to confront the challenges.

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