Government says there is need to establish a Directorate of Pharmaceutical Services at the Ministry of Health (MOH) if more pharmacy positions are to be created to adequately serve the communities.
Southern Province Minister Dr. Edify Hamukale said this when he officiated at the Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia (PSZ)Annual Scientific Conference and General Meeting in Livingstone, an event and initiative the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) has support with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .
Dr Hamukale said “as pharmacists you need to engage the Minister of Health to have a Pharmacy Directorate at the Ministry. There are few pharmacists in our communities and the only way to address these gaps is to establish a directorate dealing with pharmacy issues.”
There is also need for pharmacy regulatory bodies to decentralise their operations is the current challenges we are facing of self-medication among the communities and mushrooming of illegal chemists and drug stores are to be reduced”.
Speaking earlier, PSZ National President, David Banda, appealed to Government to support the pharmacy profession in Zambia by strengthening the public management of pharmaceutical systems through establishment of a directorate of pharmaceutical services at the Ministry of Health.
“We wish to submit to government among other issues; the need to streamline and harmonise the regulation of pharmacy personnel and practice to provide for self-regulation by creating an independent body, need for pharmacists to participate in various public health activities such as being part of newly formed National Public Health Institute, other public health campaigns and research.”
In addition, pharmacists have a critical role to play in the National Insurance Scheme implementation and it is desirable to have pharmacists to be part of the team driving this cause for effective implementation,” Mr Banda said.
Other submissions by PSZ included mainstreaming some activities being carried out by non-governmental organisations in the Ministry to effectively sustain and reduce pharmacy personnel attrition and collaborate to combat self-medication and antimicrobial resistance.