COVID-19: Nigeria can’t meet basic need of plaster, cotton bandage, surgical gloves required ― Health Minister 

The Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Wednesday, painted a gloomy picture of the vulnerability of the nation’s health system, declaring that Nigeria could not meet its need of face masks, surgical gloves, plaster, cotton bandage, and other related items, required in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Ehanire, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Governing Council of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, strongly lamented the inability of the nation to meet its need of these simple things.

The minister stated that the Covid-19 Pandemic has brought to fore the vulnerability of the nation as concern medicine security, adding, therefore, that the Governing Council should also refocus the various aspects of the profession to meet up with the realities of today.

He also stated that it was paramount that the profession of pharmacy in Nigeria immediately start to think of new ways of doing things.

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He said: “The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria is vital to the health care system as reflected in its function in the regulation of the training of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and the practice of the pharmacy profession.

“Key issues that should engage the attention of this Council include: standard of training, code and ethics of practice, proliferation of illegal premises, unsatisfactory distribution of medicines, and drug abuse.

“The Council should also refocus the various aspects of the profession to meet up with the realities of today; the Covid-19 Pandemic has brought to fore the vulnerability of the nation as concern medicines security.

“The inability of the nation to meet its need of simple things such as face masks, surgical gloves, plaster, cotton bandage, and other related items must be addressed.”

The minister also said: “It is therefore paramount that the profession of pharmacy in Nigeria immediately start to think of new ways of doing things; a situation where the focus is on the importation of finished products and compounding of raw materials is clearly not acceptable.

“Strategies must be developed to utilise local resources for the production of pharmaceutical raw materials, (both excipients and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients).

“Our maize, yam, cassava, fruits and many others that go into waste due to poor storage need to be put into meaningful use for the pharmaceutical industry; the nation vast petroleum resources need to be also exploited.”

He charged the Governing Council being inaugurated under the Chairmanship of Prof. Ahmed Mora, to work together harmoniously in the interest of Pharmacy Profession and Nigeria.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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