Pharm Benjamin Botwe
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, (PSGH) has declared its readiness to facilitate access to the Covid-19 vaccines scheduled to be deployed by the government in March.
In a release to state their intention, PSGH President, Pharm. Benjamin K. Botwe, said, “As a member of the Federation of International Pharmacists (FIP), the PSGH pledges its support to government in using all available advocacy routes to press home the need for equitable access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and health technologies, including vaccines.”
Pharm. Botwe noted that many countries are expanding their vaccination pathways to deliver safe and high vaccination coverage as quickly as possible in order to achieve collective immunity which is vital in preparation for all other future pandemics.
“To ensure access to vaccination services, trained community pharmacists in many countries are certified as vaccinators. This has become very important during the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for rapid deployment of vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2,” he noted.
The PSGH President further indicated that the Ghana College of Pharmacists has begun engaging the Pharmacy Council on the training of Pharmacists in preparation towards the rapid roll out of vaccination against the Covid-19 pandemic.
While commending the government’s effort to ensure availability of Covid-19 vaccines by March, it called for urgent attention to be given to equity of access to all treatment and preventive regimens.
“Despite the commendable effort by the government to control the spread of the disease, the PSGH notes with concern the upsurge of active cases over the past few weeks. We are also worried about the rise in the number of severe cases and mortality. We fully support the restrictions placed on weddings, funerals, concerts, among other social gatherings and call on the government, as a matter of utmost urgency to further intensify the pandemic response by strengthening disease surveillance and public health interventions,” Pharm Botwe said.
He said Ghanaian pharmacists can be advocates, educators and qualified providers of vaccinations against Covid-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
“This will make vaccines widely available in convenient locations and in familiar settings as many people already utilise pharmacies as their first port of call for many ailments,” he added.
The PSGH therefore urged its members to regularly engage their patients and clients to mollify their fears regarding safety and credibility of Covid-19 vaccines, arising out of many myths, misconceptions and unfounded conspiracy theories.
“We need to reinforce beyond doubt the critical role immunization plays within a functioning health delivery system. We need to prepare a ‘vaccine literate’ public who will trust the science and embrace new vaccines for Covid-19 as they become available,” he said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri