The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSN, has expressed worry over the unending industrial actions in the health sector, urging the Federal Government to immediately resolve the crisis to ensure better healthcare services for Nigerians.

Speaking in Lagos, President of the Association, Alhaji Toyosi Raheem expressed displeasure on the manner in which the current crisis in the Health Sector is being handled by government at all levels in the country.

According to him, in any normal clime, crisis in health sector culminating in national industrial actions is handled with utmost urgency and attention.

“Regrettably, in our country, crisis and industrial actions in the Health Sector is given little or no attention at all. This unfortunately leads to avoidable loss of lives and economic burden on the masses especially in terms of the cost of getting alternative access to health care locally or outside the country (for those who could afford it),” he stated.

Raheem recalled that early this year, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, went on a national strike for days albeit with consequent loss of lives. He said the ongoing national strike by the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU seemed not to attract any urgent attention from government and wondered the impact on the health of Nigerians as well as attainment of the health related Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.

“Our Association hereby urges Federal Government and other stakeholders to show commitment and give urgency to resolution of the ongoing crisis. Government and patriotic Nigerians should appeal to government to urgently discuss with JOHESU members rather than leave the meeting till 15th of December, 2014. The current situation in the health sector deserves urgent national attention,” he said.

On the National Health Bill, he noted: “It is our belief that what was presented for assent, was the harmonised version of the Senate and the House of Representatives. That is the version that will lead to achievement of the good intentions of the drafters of the bill. It is hoped that no other version order than the harmonised version produced by the two National Assemblies was presented to Mr. President for assent. “The crisis in the health sector would even be aggravated if any other version was presented for assent order than the harmonized version. The health of the citizenry deserves urgent and sincere attentions by all stakeholders,” he stated.

Community Pharmacists advocate access to safe medicines

Community pharmacists have stressed the need to entrench access to safe medicine as a human right in the country, saying “it is a major way of guaranteeing better access to quality medicines for all Nigerians.

The pharmacists who gathered at the 2014 Continuing Medical Education, CME, Conference of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, Lagos State branch, with the theme: “Patient Safety Issues in Nigeria: Community Pharmacists Perspective”, maintained that access to safe medicines remains a human right of all citizens of Nigeria.

In a chat, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Olumide Akintayo, said pharmacists have been working with the National Human Right Commission to come up with a policy that would cover access to medicine as a human right.

“What community pharmacists are simply saying is that they want to be in the vanguard of creating an environment whereby Nigerians will consume safe medicines at an affordable cost and accessible at all time even in the remotest part of the country.

“This is also inconsonance with the National Drug Policy in Nigeria. They are just working in perfect tandem with that philosophy at this year’s continuous education programme,” he added.

Earlier, the State Chairman of ACPN, Aminu Abdulsalami – Yinka said Continuous Medical Education, CME, programme in Lagos has been very consistent over the years because of the importance ACPN placed on knowledge and effective service delivery.

“There are new trends even in the management of ailments, new medicines and in order to cope with the new trends; we need to regularly update ourselves so that we can impact positively in the lives of the public that actually need our service. So the education programme is a sine qua non in our policy and in conjunction with the regulatory authority, it is also mandatory.

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