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[e-drug] Collapsing community pharmacy practice in Ghana (8)

E-DRUG: Collapsing community pharmacy practice in Ghana (8)

Dear colleagues,

Given that we are dealing with a complex mix of challenges that we find 
affecting pharmaceutical services in many of the developing countries, 
particularly in this subject matter, is it not worth looking at how some 
countries are attempting to create the necessary safeguards, controls and the 
promotion of good, basic pharmaceutical services? I would like use to refer to 
the Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDO) programme (in Tanzania and 
similar projects that are being considered by governments particularly in other 
parts of Africa), as a way of controlling access to essential medicines in an 
environment where the public have limited access to public health services, and 
where the public have a choice in seeking seeking treatment.

In an environment of limited pharmacists facing an overwhelming demand for 
pharmaceutical services from communities in urban to rural areas, there simply 
is a need to find solutions that provide access to quality pharmaceutical 
services and / or products, and through such arrangements, look after the 
health of the general public.

The situations described in Ghana, Cameroon, are not unique to these countries 
as we already know, but are found right across the world. The question is how 
governments and the profession of pharmacy can attend to these challenges in a 
way that provides for access to quality medicines and basic pharmaceutical 
services. Governments are now stretched to breaking point as countries mature 
and citizens demands and expectations of public and indeed private health care 
sky- rocket. As stated by others, there are simply not enough pharmacists and 
physicians around to address public health agenda; and there are not enough of 
these cadre, particularly with sufficient capital, to set up services in the 
most needy / vulnerable locations (both urban and rural settings). So, 
alternative and probably more innovative (short- to- medium term) solutions are 
needed, since clearly the challenges faced by the public health sector are 
unlikely to be addressed through application of traditional strategies alone.


Bonface Fundafunda PhD., MBA., B.Pharm
Manager, Drug Supply Budget Line
Ministry of Health,
P.O. Box 30205,
Ndeke House,
Tel: +260 211 25 41 83
Fax: +260 211 25 33 44
Mobile: + 260 979 25 29 00
Email: bcfunda@hotmail.com

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