By Felicia Imohimi
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) says it is poised to reposition community pharmacies and patent medicine vendors for improved spectrum and quality healthcare delivery.
Mr Elijah Mohammed, PCN Registrar, gave the assurance at an inaugural meeting for the development of PCN Family Planning (FP) and other Primary Health Care (PHC) Strategic Plan on Monday in Abuja.
The strategic plan initiative by the council was supported by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership for Advocacy of Child and Family Health @Scale Project (PSN-PACFaH@Scale).
“The place of community pharmacies and patent medicine shops as primary health care facilities cannot be overemphasised in view of the Federal Ministry of Health’s renewed commitment to drive the Universal Health Access through PHC.
“As well as their determination to shift the task of some healthcare services to the private sector.
“Documented evidence has shown that the first point of call by majority of Nigerians seeking healthcare services were community pharmacists and Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs),’’ Mohammed said.
He noted that the vision of the council was to create an enabling and regulated environment for the provision of quality service for sustainable healthcare delivery.
According to the PCN registrar, the council articulated its mission in order to effectively regulate and control the training and practice of pharmaceutical service providers through the instrumentality of capacity building.
He said: “Some of the steps to be taken by the council to actualise the repositioning of CPs and PPMVs and align them with current realities as primary healthcare providers include the review of the curricula of all our service provide.
“They are pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and PPMVs in order to build the capacities to carry out these expanded roles.
“The expanded roles are the stratification of PPMVs into three different accreditation models, categorised into tier one, tier two and three.
“It also includes the development of supervisory model for PPMVs as well as the Satellite Pharmacy Concept model,’’ Mohammed said.
He specially noted that the development of the PCN FP and other primary healthcare strategic plan action was necessitated by the keen interest of several development organisations in collaboration with the council.
The PCN registrar said that these organisations wanted to work with CPs and PPMVs.
He identified the PCN Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for FP as a novel approach to the council as a regulatory agency to develop a collaborative framework that will effectively ensure quality delivery by CPs and PPMVs.
“It is evident from data that private practitioners such as CPs and PPMVs under the regulation of the council are key sustainable healthcare providers toward ensuring quality access to FP.
“This document will define operational and technical capacities, not only for the CPs and PPMVs but also to ratify gaps in areas where development partners can support the council’s regulatory efforts at ensuring quality care provision in maternal health by the group.
“As we commence the development of the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for FP, I urge all stakeholders to provide their expertise, contribute and ensure that an implementable SIP is produced,” Mohammed advised.