Maternal Mortality: Groups Takes Advocacy To Pharmacists Council Of Nigeria

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As part of efforts to reduce the rising maternal mortality rate, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) under the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFAH), has taken its advocacy to Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, on how to curb the high rate of maternal mortality in the country.
Speaking at the event during the visitation  yesterday on expanding the role of community pharmacist, patent and proprietary medicine vendors in providing primary health care in the country, the program director and strategy for the civil society organization, Pharm Remi Adeseun said in his presentation that “ the unacceptable 567 per 100, 000 maternal mortality rate, the 111 per day child bearing age women and the girl’s death as well as 400, 000 under – 5 years children death every year can be prevented if the key private health care providers such as community  pharmacist, (CP), patent and proprietary medicine vendors (PPMVs) roles in providing family planning and other primary health care services are expanded”.
Giving the statistics from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and health survey, Adeseun disclosed that “about 60% of Nigerians source their family planning commodities and services from the private health sector compared to 30% from the public and 10% from kiosks, petty shops and supermarkets”.
He said, about 38% of the 60% family planning users that visit the private health care providers patronise patent and proprietary medicines vendors (PPMVs), while 10% of the 60% interact with the community pharmacist.
The advocacy group however urged other major stakeholders to support the federal ministry of health and the pharmacists’ council of Nigeria (PCN), which is the government approved body to regulate community pharmacists, patent and proprietary medicine vendors, (PPMVs), to train, register and to increase monitoring of their health care practices.
PSN- PACFaH also appealed to the federal Ministry of Health and Pharmacist Council of Nigeria to support the registered and trained community pharmacists, patent and proprietary medicines vendors to include key contraceptive mix in the services they provide for about 50% of family planning users that patronize them yearly.
Meanwhile, the registrar of the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Pharm. Elijah Muhammed while commending PSN- PACFaH for the roles they have been playing in the health sector, promised to work together with them by deploring more staff to improve service delivery.
He however criticized the empowerment of some unlicensed community pharmacists, which he said the house of representative had given them directive to close down illegal pharmacies to ensure the safety of the lives of Nigerian citizens.
“ The most important factors militating against the accessibility to quality and affordable medicines  is the absence of registered Pharmaceutical premises and out of 50,301 registered patent and proprietary medicines vendors, (PPMVs), only 5,527 are licensed in 2014,” Muhammed said.

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