Sequel to their tour of three northern states tertiary hospitals, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) has urged the management of Usmanu Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital, UDUTH, Sokoto; Federal Medical Centre, Gusau; and the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, to upgrade their facilities and practices to enhance efficient service delivery to their populace.
The AHAPN NEC, which held its council meeting at the Sultan Mohammadu Maccido Institute of Quranic and General Studies Auditorium, Sokoto recently, seized the opportunity to make courtesy visits to some dignitaries in the area, as well as inspected the conditions of some tertiary hospitals in the northern part of the country.
The National Chairman of AHAPN, Pharm. Martins Oyewole identified some inadequacies in the operations at the Usmanu Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital UDUTH, Sokoto, which ranges from shortage of pharmacists, absence of a purpose built pharmacy department, and limited alternative care centres in the state.
Although he earlier commended the Medical Director of the hospital for the quality healthcare services rendered by the teaching hospital to the teeming population of Sokoto and environs, he however lamented the shortcomings of the institution in meeting the World Health Organization (WHO) and Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) standards, expected of a leading teaching hospital like UDUTH.
He further acknowledged that there are not many alternatives for tertiary care in Sokoto axis; hence the need for adequate staffing that would make way for effective and efficient service delivery.
Oyewole also decried the absence of a purpose built pharmacy department in the hospital, as it is practiced in other teaching hospitals, and advocated for restructuring of the pharmacy department, in line with Pharmacists Council of Nigeria requirement for a 1000 bedded hospital. He added that individualized patient care has become the order of the day in patient care all over the world, hence restructuring has become inevitable.
Speaking further, the AHAPN National Chairman informed the management team of UDUTH about the feat achieved by the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, in setting up a viable Drug Revolving Fund (DRF), which is a sine qua non for continuous drug availability in hospitals.He thus encouraged the institution to borrow a leaf from Igbobi in setting up their own version of Drug Revolving Fund (DRF).
He also urged the management to upgrade the production unit of the hospital, so that drugs like antacids, methylated spirit, sodium hypochlorite and other similar products, can be produced regularly.This will ensure continuous availability of these products, while saving costs for the hospital.
In her response, the Acting Medical Director, UDUTH, represented by Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) Dr (Mrs) Constance O. Shehu, agreed that there are a lot of challenges facing the hospital, adding that she was at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) Maiduguri recently, where she saw the Pharmacy Department out lay. She said the management of the hospital was open to constructive criticism, and encouraged the association to keep coming to Sokoto State to hold their activities.
She challenged pharmacists and other healthcare providers to render more functional healthcare delivery to patients, because tomorrow, we (healthcare providers) may be at the receiving end as patients. She also urged pharmacists to put patients at the centre always, adding that” you don’t fight ignorance, you eradicate it”.
During the AHAPN NEC visit to Zamfara State, where they were received by the management of the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC) Gusau, the Medical Director of the centre Dr Kabiru Mohammed Anka, expressed his delight at the visit, acknowledging that this was the first of such visit since the creation of the state.
Oyewole thanked the medical director for the warm reception, and challenged the management to employ additional pharmacists in the state, so that the populace can benefit from the dividends of pharmaceutical care, which has become the order of the day in pharmacy practice worldwide.
He also informed the management of the hospital that Sokoto State will be hosting the National Conference of the Association come 2019, and urged Zamfara to team up with Kebbi and Sokoto states to ensure adequate representation at the conference.
During the NEC members round of the hospital conducted by the Head of Pharmacy Department, Pharm. (Mrs) Battle Hauwa, they observed that the Director of Pharmaceutical Services (DPS) Zamfara, Pharm. Isah Mohammed Gusau was the only pharmacist at the Ministry of Health, a situation Pharm. Oyewole decried as unacceptable. He challenged the DPS to give the needed leadership to Sokoto and Zamfara States.
The National Executive Committee also visited Kebbi State, and in particular, the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, in company of the AHAPN executives, Sokoto State Branch and Chairman of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Sokoto State, Pharm. Murtala Bello, who accompanied the NEC delegation all the way from Sokoto to Kebbi State.
One after the other, the members highlighted their challenges to NEC, including the issue of inadequate staffing. The National Chairman however took time to assuage the members, promising that NEC will look into the issues raised.
Led by the Director of Pharmaceutical Services of Kebbi State, Pharm. Ibrahim Maigandi, NEC members met with the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Kebbi State, Alhaji Umar Usman Kambaza, who welcomed the pharmacists warmly to the state. He noted that the visit was first of its kind by a high ranking pharmacy delegation from outside the state. The commissioner intimated them on the role of the state government in encouraging pharmacy practice in the state, which included going as far as paying salaries to pharmacy students of the state origin in the fourth year and beyond.
In his response, the National Chairman of AHAPN, Pharm. Martins Oyewole commended Alhaji Kambaza for their efforts at promoting pharmacy practice in the state, and challenged the state to employ additional pharmacists to man the various general hospitals in the state. He informed the commissioner that Sokoto State will be hosting AHAPN National Conference in 2019, and encouraged Kebbi and Zamfara states to team up with Sokoto State to ensure a successful conference.
The National Executive Committee led by DPS Sokoto State, Pharm Mohammed Hamisu, also visited the Commissioner for Health, Sokoto State, Dr Shehu Balarabe Kakele, who received the visitors warmly to Sokoto State. He noted also that this was the first of such visit by a high powered pharmacy delegation to Sokoto State, which he said was investors friendly.