It also called for the inclusion of all community pharmacies and their staff in the implementation of government directive and other COVID-19 related reliefs, including the exemptions from payment of PAYE (tax), to help keep them safe and motivated.
These were contained in a statement issued and signed by Mr Benjamin Kwame Botwe, President of the Society and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra.
It said the Society was worried community pharmacists were excluded in “official distribution” of PPEs, a situation the statement said if not quickly addressed could impede the fight against the spread of the virus.
“The concern of the leadership of PSGH is that this oversight puts not only pharmacists and the pharmaceutical support staff at the risk of getting infected but also the potential of becoming the source of new infections,” the statement said.
The statement said since the redefinition of the country’s COVID-19 discharge protocols, the active number of cases continued to grow, including a rise in positive test percentage, which it said currently stood at 7.47 per cent but had been over 15 per cent in the last two weeks.
The statement said factoring in the current doubling time of 21-days, it was clear that the disease was spreading exponentially through communities.
It said data also suggested that over 80 per cent of all cases of SARS-COV-2 in Ghana were mildly symptomatic.
The statement said according to Ghana Health Service’s Facts and Figures document (2018), the nation’s outpatient per capita is 0.97, “Meaning on average, most Ghanaians will see a primary healthcare professional through an outpatient department once a year.”
It said research indicated that on average most Ghanaians visited a community pharmacy 4.1 times a year, approximately once every quarter.
The statement said the net effect of that characterisation of the health-seeking behaviours indicated that about 80 per cent, that is four in five of all mildly symptomatic patients, may access healthcare through the community pharmacy when their primary symptoms of loss of taste or smell manifested.
“More importantly with our average daily cases being 460 (range 411-505), it is expected that on average 368 patients with SARS-COV-2 yet to test positive could attend pharmacies across the country daily. This is even more so now that many patients are avoiding hospital facilities for fear of contracting the disease,” it added.
The statement said as a profession whose primary objective was the pharmaceutical care of patients, it was important that the shortfalls were addressed to curtail community spread of the virus.
It urged the government to leverage on community engagement and work with community pharmacists to aid in the fight against the pandemic.
The statement said through an appeal made, the Society had procured critically needed PPE for pharmacists in eight treatment centres and 2,000 community pharmacists nationwide, to assist them in the fight against the virus.
It commended Norvatis Pharma for supporting the Society.
As at Monday, July 13, 2020, Ghana’s COVID-19 cumulative case count was 24,518 with active cases being 4,192 and death toll at 139. Read Full Story