Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has called for increased training programmes in pharmacy aimed at developing a good reputation for the profession.
With the increase of pharmacists and the rise of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Kadaga said that it is important to ensure safety of drugs and value for human health. This she said can be done through investing in well trained workforce.
“There are small pharmacies on the streets. If you go to a weekly market, you will find people selling medicine and you cannot be sure whether it is expired or damaged by the sun,” said Kadaga.
She was officiating at the 8th African Pharmaceutical Symposium in Imperial Hotel in Entebbe on Monday 22 July 2019.
Kadaga challenged the pharmacists to ensure that the profession is integrated with the current trends of technology and innovation to be able to respond appropriately to the emerging NCDs.
“We need to avert premature deaths by improving access to and use of preventive healthcare services, strengthening health work force by recruiting well trained pharmacists as well as increase health facilities and stocking them,” she added.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said that steps have been taken to equip pharmacists with new skills to match the changing health needs of the population.
She added that some of the pharmacists have taken specialized training in emerging areas such as management of cancer.
“Majority of those who have undergone specialised training are now employed in the cancer institute. This will improve quality of care, and assure good treatment outcome and rational use of medicine,” Aceng said.
In her speech read by the Director Clinical Services, Ministry of Health, Dr. Charles Olaro, Aceng called for a shift in health policy priorities, strategies and increased healthcare spending on NCDs.
“Government needs to invest in research in drug discovery and development that seeks to harness Africa’s biodiversity in herbal medicines with the view of extracting new drugs,” Aceng added.
She also pledged commitment by the Ministry of Health in continuing to uphold the cause for advancement of pharmacy practice.