The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PSN-PAS) project says Community Pharmacists (CPs) and Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors (PPMVs) are key in achieving 27 per cent modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) by 2020.


*Different types of contraceptives

Dr Edwin Akpotor, Senior Programme Officer, PSN-PAS, said this at the validation meeting of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) 3-year strategic plan document in Abuja on Tuesday.
Akpotor reaffirmed that the PCN’s 3-year strategic plan is geared toward re-positioning and equipping CPs and PPMVs to provide quality primary health care services including Family Planning (FP), management of childhood pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria to the populace.

Akpotor, who identified Kaduna State as having 16.7 per cent mCPR lower than the national average of 19 per cent, said that allowing CPs and PPMVs to provide expanded FP services would enable states witness drastic improvements.

“The 2013 Nigeria National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) shows that over 60 per cent of Nigerians patronise CPs and PPMVs for their FP and other primary health care services.
“It is therefore strategic to engage CPs and PPMVs as providers of expanded FP services for Nigeria to achieve 27 per cent mCPR by 2020.

“The development of the PCN strategic plan is in line with the commitments made by the government of Nigeria during the July 2017 FP2020 London Summit that CPs and PPMVs will be allowed to provide expanded quality PHC services,’’ Akpotor said.
He noted that implementation of the plan would reduce the estimated 100 daily maternal deaths while giving life by 30 per cent through improve access to contraceptives and uptake of FP services.

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He further noted that it would also reduce overpopulation.
Akpotor, however, emphasised that without proper demographic planning and strategies, Nigeria might not be able to cope with the economic and social challenges this population explosion would cause.

Mr Elijah Mohammed, Registrar, PCN, commended the support of participants to the validation of the strategic plan.
Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Babashehu Ahmed, Director, Planning Research and Statistics of the council, described the avenue as the best time and opportunity for PCN to implement its mandate of strengthening the practice of CPs and PPMVs.

“We all need to work together to ameliorate all these unacceptable health indices bedevilling the nation.
“All hands must be on deck for us to reduce and end the high maternal mortality ratio of 576 per 100,000 live births in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Also, Mrs Beauty Okologo, Deputy Director, Food and Drugs Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Health, lauded the collaborative efforts of PSN-PAS project in supporting PCN to develop the strategic plan.

She said that when fully implemented, the plan would build the capacities of CPs and PPMVs to provide quality primary health care services to Nigerians.
Mr Munir Elelu, the Deputy National President, PSN Northern Zone, urged the CPs and PPMVs to work toward the full implementation of the 3-year strategic plan.
Also, Mr Okechukwu Celestine, a representative of PPMV, pledged the organisation’s readiness to work with PCN and other stakeholders in ensuring that quality PHC services are provided for the populace.

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