PSN-PAS tasks community pharmacists on family planning services
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PSN-PAS) project has called for increased involvement of Community Pharmacists (CPs) and Patent & Proprietary Medicines Vendors (PPMVs) in the provision of expanded family planning and services.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Director of Programme, PSN-PAS, Pharm Ayuba Ibrahim who was represented by Dr. Edwin Akpotor, the Senior Program Officer, said since evidences show that Community Pharmacists are among the critical private health care providers in Nigeria, there is need to expand their scope of family planning services.
“This will increase access to contraceptive mix and inclusiveness of clients that patronizes these critical private providers especially in hard-to-reach communities in Nigeria; The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and the regulator of pharmacy practice in Nigeria, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), should be strengthened to re-position Community Pharmacists (CPs) through training and supportive supervision to provide expanded family planning services to Nigerians; Community Pharmacists have a major role to play in assisting Nigeria to achieve the 27 per cent mCPR by 2020,” he said.
According to him, “evidences show that they see more clients than most public health facilities; and CPs who are one of the strategic private sector health care providers should collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to advocate for more involvement of the private sector in the provision of family planning information and services especially in the hard-to-reach communities in Nigeria.”
“Statistics from the FMoH shows that each day about 100 women die in the process of giving life in Nigeria and about 30 per cent of these deaths can be averted by improving access to contraceptives and increasing uptake of family planning services,” Ibrahim said.He said by allowing CPs and PPMVs to provide expanded services that are the first point of call for health seeking Nigerians, we can save more lives.
He called for government urgent action. “There is urgent need for the government of Nigeria to “walk the talk” by ensuring the critical private sector-CPs and PPMVs-are equipped, and strengthened to provide more quality child spacing information and services and thus should be included in all respective policy documents.”
“We are convinced that this will be a fruitful strategy to reducing the unacceptable maternal, child and adolescent mortalities from preventable pregnant,” he said.
Since a large proportion of Nigerians visit the PPMVs as their first point of call for child spacing information and services. There is need to identify, build their capacities and supportively supervise PPMVs to provide more expanded family planning services. With this, we can meet the unmet and include the excluded, unreached population;
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) should be supported to provide adequate and quality supervision in re-positioning PPMVs to provide quality, expanded family planning services to Nigerians especially those in the hard-to-reach communities; and Partners who intend to or are already working with PPMVs on family planning or other primary health care services, should liaise with the PCN (who is saddled with the responsibility of overseeing services provided by PPMVs) in ensuring proper training, monitoring and evaluation,” he added.Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, PSN-PAS, Mrs. Ijeoma Nwankwo, said the need to save the lives of women necessitated the call for increase in CPs.