Nigerian pharmacists have raised alarm over what they described as a ‘lack of medical security in the country, calling on the Federal government to pay more attention to medical security as it affects the well-being and security of citizens.
The National President of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, Pharm Adewale Oladigbolu made the call while briefing journalists in Lagos on the forthcoming of the ACPN 42nd Annual Scientific Conference with the theme: “Building Effective Community Pharmacy Services for Universal Health Coverage” billed to hold 31st July through 5th August at Asaba, Delta State.
Oladigbolu who defined medicine insecurity as inadequate availability, accessibility, and affordability of essential medications to the population said this arises due to a multitude of factors such as limited production, inefficient distribution networks, regulatory issues, and financial constraints.
“While our country boasts a rich heritage in various fields, it is disheartening to witness the detrimental consequences of medicine insecurity on our society.
“Medicine insecurity directly impacts the health of our citizens, particularly those with chronic illnesses and vulnerable populations.
“The unavailability of essential medications can lead to worsening health conditions, prolonged suffering, and in severe cases, irreversible damage or even loss of life. It also hampers disease prevention efforts, causing the spread of communicable diseases and exacerbating public health crises”
He further highlighted the significance of digital health in the practice of community pharmacists and how it can revolutionize the way healthcare services are delivered in the community.
He said as technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, incorporating digital health solutions into daily operations has become increasingly crucial.
“The integration of digital health tools and platforms within community pharmacies offers several invaluable benefits.
“Firstly, it enhances patient engagement and empowerment. With digital health, community pharmacists can establish meaningful connections with patients, allowing for improved communication, education, and support.
“Through digital channels such as telehealth consultations, mobile applications, and online portals, patients can easily access a wealth of health information, medication reminders, and personalised care plans.
“This accessibility fosters patient involvement in their health management and promotes adherence to prescribed treatments, leading to better health outcomes.”
He said with the fast-paced world, community pharmacists face numerous challenges in providing high-quality patient care and with a multitude of medications available, each with its own dosage, instructions, and potential interactions, the task of labelling medications accurately and comprehensibly becomes a significant concern.
“This is where drug labelling machines come into play.
“These machines are sophisticated tools that automate the process of printing and affixing labels to medication containers.
“By utilising advanced technology and software, drug labelling machines can efficiently generate clear and standardised labels containing vital information such as the patient’s name, medication name, strength, dosage instructions, expiration date, and any necessary warnings or precautions.”
On the upcoming conference, he said it was designed to shed light on the crucial role of community pharmacists in providing accessible and quality healthcare services for all.
“Their services go beyond dispensing medications; they serve as trusted healthcare providers within communities, offering valuable advice, counselling, and preventive care,” he added.