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23.02.2006 Health

Student pharmacists launch drug safety week


Mampong (Ash), Feb. 23 GNA - Professor Mahama Duwiejua, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has cautioned against people inflicting themselves with preventable diseases. He said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) may not be sustainable "if we do not stop inflicting preventable diseases on ourselves", with the hope that the scheme would take care of the medical bills.

Professor Duwiejua stated this when he launched this years Drug Safety and Health Week Awareness Campaign of the Ghana Pharmaceutical Students' Association (GPSA) at Mampong-Ashanti.

Apparently referring to the increasing high incidence of the lifestyle and behaviour-ralated diseases like malaria, stroke, diabetes and hypertensions, Prof. Duwiejua called for individual and societal change in behaviour to reverse the trend.

He also urged the authorities to intensify efforts to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS, especially among then youth, to ensure a healthy workforce for socio-economic development.

The Sekyere West District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Huruna Oppong-Boateng, speaking on the theme of the Health Awareness Campaign: "Rationale Drug use, Patient Counselling and Disease Prevention, Effective tools in building a healthy Ghana," urged health workers to educate patients on the correct uses of drugs.

He said drug misuse and abuse has become very common in the society, thus compounding national efforts to manage preventable diseases like malaria, cholera and tuberculosis.

Mr Oppong-Boateng called on the GPSA to join in efforts to educate the public on the National Health Insurance Scheme.

The DCE impressed upon the students to accept postings to rural communities when they complete their studies to reduce the menace of quack drug peddlers and herbal practitioners.

The Acting Sekyere West District Director of Health Service (DDHS), Madam Rebecca Dokurugu, on her part announced that malaria continue to top the list of ten common diseases in the area last year. She advised people in the area to keep their surroundings clean and seek medical advice when they have health problems.