02.04.2004 Regional News

Drug Information Centre commissioned in Sekondi

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Sekondi, April 1, GNA - Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, Deputy Western Regional Minister, on Thursday said the lack of reliable and authoritative information on the use of a wide range of drugs on the market is posing a threat to the health of Ghanaians. She was commissioning the Regional Drug Information Centre during the celebration of the first anniversary of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Sekondi.

Madam Horner-Sam said it was alarming that unauthorised sources or individuals often passed wrong information on drugs to consumers. She said the quality of information on drugs and their use could either pose a threat to the health of the people or help cure them.

Madam Horner-Sam said the establishment of the centre would help put a stop to this problem by disseminating useful and reliable information on drugs and their uses to medical personnel and patients. She called on pharmacists, doctors, and nurses to get actively involved in giving the right information on prescribed drugs to patients.

Madam Horner-Sam commended the Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service for mobilising funds to establish the centre whose functions would eventually minimise the cost of treatment and help alleviate the sufferings of patients, as drugs were an integral part of healthcare delivery. She urged districts in the region to set up similar centres, adding that the Regional Coordinating Council would support the regional centre to function smoothly.

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, Director General of the Ghana Health Service, who was touring the Western Region, used the occasion to advise health personnel to accept postings to rural areas where the majority of Ghanaians lived and where the nation derived the bulk of its revenue. He said the urban areas had so many health personnel whose abilities were not being fully utilised, while deprived communities were always looking for health workers.

Professor Akosa said to help address the problem, the Ghana Health Service had decided that scholarships would only be awarded to health workers who worked in deprived areas in addition to a special deprived area allowance and quick promotions. He said Drug Information Centres were vital to quality health delivery and expressed the hope that they would eventually develop into health centres.

Professor Akosa urged medical personnel to patronise the centres to update their knowledge on drugs, adding that medical personnel who did not make use of the centres should be made to do so.

In an address read for him, Mr. Philip Anum, Head of the National Drug Information Resource Centre, said the regional drug information centre would also serve national interest by disseminating drug information such as drug alerts, drug withdrawals, treatment guidelines reviews, serve as information source for drugs and therapeutic committees and the National Health Insurance Scheme. He said apart from the teaching hospitals, the Western Regional drug Information Centre was the first regional information centre to be launched.

Mr. Felix Yellu, Chief Pharmacist of the Ghana Health Service, presented printer and accessories as well as three reference books to the centre. Dr. Sylvester Anemana, Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service presided. Other speakers at the function were Dr. R. A. Sagoe, Medical Director of Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital and Miss Barbara Yankey, Head of the Regional Drug Information Centre.

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