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17.08.2003 Regional News

Drug, Therapeutic Committee inaugurated at Saltpond Hospital

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Saltpond (C/R), Aug. 17, GNA - A nine-member Drug and Therapeutic Committee (DTC) has been inaugurated at the Saltpond Government Hospital.

The DTC, a new concept introduced by Ghana Health Service is to be implemented on a pilot basis in district hospitals at Saltpond, Winneba, Agona Swedru, Cape Coast and the Central Regional Hospital, also at Cape Coast.

The DTCs are to develop drug policies, advise medical staff and administration on drug use, evaluate and select drugs, assess and identify problems of drug use and promote effective interventions to improve the situation.

Mr J.S. Aggrey, Deputy Central Regional Pharmaceutical Service Director, who inaugurated the committee said the use of poor quality or fake drugs had resulted in the users contracting some deadly diseases like cancer.

Mr Aggrey said the introduction and integration of the DTC concept in health care delivery was a measure to consolidate the modest successes so far achieved in the area of rational drug use. He advised members to work as a team to improve health care delivery in the district.

In a welcoming address, Dr Frederick Vormawor, Medical Superintendent of the hospital said drug is like a two-edged sword, which can destroy or heal, adding that too little of it can make a patient's condition worse, while too much of it can kill.

Dr Vormawor commended the Ghana Health Service for introducing the DTC concept, which he said when well managed would reduce the law suits by patients for negligence of duty on the part of health personnel. He expressed concern about patients who abscond without paying their bills after treatment and said the problem is affecting efficient health care delivery.

Mr Derrick Owusu-Ambrose, hospital pharmacist who is the chairman of the DTC said the misuse of drugs had been associated with a lot of health related problems, prominent among them was the high mobility and mortality rates.

He said these problems come about because drugs are expensive and are potentially toxic and that drugs are abused and misused as a result of the poor knowledge of health staff about drugs. Mr Owusu-Ambrose said because policies and procedures concerning drugs are inadequate or at times not available at all, medication errors are frequent.

Mr Comfort Abena Berko, a Mankessim based fuel dealer who chaired the function advised media practitioners to ensure that advertisement on drugs in the media also indicate that wrong doses can be dangerous.

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