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Pharmacists establish 24-hr centres to check drug, chemical abuse nationwide

By Chioma Obinna

Hope of survival has  risen for Nigerians exposed to untoward effects of drugs, substances of abuse and poisons as the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, upscaled its information centre to a 24-hour National Drug & Poisons Information, Emergency Response and Research Centre.

codeine

To this end, an eight-storey building estimated at N2.6 billion to house all the centres is under construction.

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The National drug centre will, among other things, serve as a counselling, referral and when necessary, mobilise appropriate response team for victims.  It would also be a coordinating centre to responses to suicide attempts, rehabilitation of drug addicts and people injured by poisons as well as serve as information and research warehouse for retooling pharmacy and pharmacists towards greater relevance.

At the unveiling of the project last week in Lagos, Chairman, Project Committee of the PSN, Dr John Nwaiwu said the Centre would  also serve as part of preparing Nigerians for chemical and drug terrorism and other disease epidemics.

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Every State in Nigeria would have a dedicated phone line and personnel Nwaiwu noted.

“The personnel must be fluent in local language for wider coverage and effective communication response to poisoning issues, adverse drug reactions report, enquiries on drug abuse use, suicide attempt calls and connects health professionals  in hospitals, community pharmacies and other healthcare facilities, as to availability of emergency drugs, orphan drugs, Red Cross, State emergency response units, community pharmacists with hospitals and special care centres nationwide among others.

“The Centre will also serve as a training facility open to all healthcare professionals and a window for internship programmes for pharmacy graduates etc.”

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