The Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Thursday in Abuja launched two documents which would serve as guidelines for crafting an essential medicine list for medical practitioners in the treatment of patients. A press statement released by the ministry of health stated that the two documents, 2nd Edition of Nigerian Standard Treatment Guidelines and 6thEdition of Nigerian Essential Medicines List for the betterment of patients, The minister, who was represented by the Director, Food and Drug Services Department, Grace Chukwumah, said the documents are veritable tools to be used for procurement of medicines and their use in the public sector. They would also be used in prescribing drugs in the public health sector and providing medical information to healthcare providers as well as reimbursement of medicines in the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS among others. The Minister implored health providers across the country to take full advantage of these policy documents for the betterment of patients’ health. “The sure way to quality health services lies in our willingness to strictly adhere to the many policy documents being churned out by the Federal Ministry of Health,” the minister said. Mr. Ehanire also reinstated the ministry’s commitment to improving the health of Nigerians and promised to regularly update policies to conform to global standards. He added that the ministry would monitor and evaluate the impact of the policies on the health system across the country. He called on state ministries of health to seize this opportunity to revise and adopt their policy documents in line with national policies and the World Health Organization (WHO). “The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Chief Medical Directors of Tertiary Health Institutions, Directors of Pharmaceutical Services of States and all other relevant stakeholders must not to rest on their oars to ensure the successful implementation of these documents,” he added. Earlier in his opening remarks, John Obodo, Chairman of the Nigerian Standard Treatment Guidelines and the Essential Medicines List Review Committee in his opening remarks, noted that the list was meant to assist practitioners in providing better health care services and also to provide safe, efficacious and affordable medicines to satisfy the health care needs of Nigerians.

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