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Community pharmacists seek recognition as primary healthcare providers

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Community pharmacists under the aegis of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria have urged the Federal Government to recognise its members as primary health care providers in the country.

The ACPN national chairman, Dr. Samuel Adekola, at a briefing in Lagos said Nigeria’s approach to primary health care was missing an essential ingredient which was the active recognition of community pharmacists as the most accessible, highly trained and competent health professionals in the communities.

He noted that the 40th annual national conference of the association, with the theme, ‘Abuja Declaration: Equipping Pharmacists For Universal Health Coverage,’ would hold at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, between August 30 and September 4 2021.

Adekola added that primary health care was the foundation for all public health interventions by the government

 “With the sensitisation and high-level advocacy generated on the need to officially recognise and designate community pharmacists as primary health care providers, the ACPN believes that core competencies of pharmacists need to be improved to be able to meet up with some of the challenges that this role will bring, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that we are witnessing its the third wave currently,” he said.

“Our mandatory Continuing Education Professional Development Programme that will be hosted in this year’s conference is focused on vaccination training for pharmacists, so as to equip them especially in the light of the current pandemic, and of course, other public health challenges so as to be able to provide vaccination services to our teeming populace because vaccination is very crucial as one of the major pillars of public health intervention strategy,” he said.

The ACPN national chairman assured participants that the conference, which doubled as the 40th-anniversary celebration of the association was going to be a conference like no other in the annals of pharmaceutical conferences in Nigeria.

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