The Secretary General of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists, Professor Wilson Erhun, has urged pharmacists to intensify health promotion efforts as the world awaits the best therapeutic alternative against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Erhun gave this challenge at a symposium organised by the college to mark World Pharmacists Day. The venue was the Presbyterian Church, Yaba, Lagos.

With the theme: Ebola Virus Disease: The fact and friction about hand sanitisers,  the programme brought together hundreds of pharmacists, health experts and other stakeholders. They made presentations on: “An overview of Ebola Virus Disease; “Hand sanitizer, fact and fiction; ‘Hand washing with water and soap”. According to him, it is imperative for community’s pharmacists to continue to provide information that would improve the health of the residents in rural area, as most pharmacies are regarded as Ebola Information Centres in rural areas.

He noted that communities pharmacists are by reason of their location, in the heart of the communities and must continue to provide opportunities for community involvement and supporting individuals to take control of their lives, their health and where applicable, self management of their long term condition.

He cited the words of the President of the International Pharmaceutical Federation,  Dr, Carmen Pena  that, “access to health is not just an economic issue. It is also about access to medicine which has big research evidence elements, access to correct information and access to education”.

Erhun said further: “Prevention is very germane against Ebola as there are no medication that has been approved or is readily available to treat Ebola, though an experimental treatment called ZMapp was used on Brantly and NancyWritebol. For now, patients are given fluids, antibiotics and blood transfusions to help their immune system fight”. He stressed that pharmacists are expected to be involved in every aspect of the preparation and the use of medicines from research and development to eventual supply to the patients.

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