Increased involvement of pharmacists can boost COVID-19 vaccination —PSN

For a healthier Nigeria, Pharmacists under the aegis of The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) say increased involvement of pharmacists in the community is urgently needed to end COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and increase uptake of the vaccine across the country.

Chairman, PSN, Oyo state branch, Mr Adegboyega Oguntoye, who spoke at a media briefing to mark the 2022 World Pharmacists Day in Ibadan, said the role of pharmacists had expanded beyond the dispensation of drugs to include point of care, provision of drug information and vaccination services. The World Pharmacists Day theme was “Pharmacy United in Action for a Healthier World”.

Oguntoye, flanked by Mr Abiodun Ajibade, the immediate past chairman of PSN Oyo State, Mrs Mopelola Adetoro, Dr Yejide Oseni, Southwest zonal director, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), at the briefing  declared that in the last month in Oyo State, over 4,000 people had taken COVID vaccine in 33 registered community pharmacies across the state.

According to him, “some pharmacists were trained as COVID-19 vaccine immunisers; we are opportune to render that service because we are closer to the people and they can come in at their convenience to take the vaccine.”

Oguntoye stated that although poverty, insufficient resources for health and change in the spectrum of diseases are the bane of healthcare services, a world where every Nigerian benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicine and pharmaceutical services provided by pharmacists, in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, can be achieved.

He, therefore, called for the strengthening and empowerment of pharmacists in the country to support Nigeria in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for global health and wellness of humanity.

While pledging pharmacists’ allegiance to policies of government to ensure equitable access to quality health products, programmes and services, Oguntoye asked the Federal government to increase investment in the pharmaceutical sector and checkmate the brain drain in the health sector.

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