By Katurak Yashim
Garki Hospital, Abuja, has begun the deworming of no fewer than 1,000 persons in the FCT as part of activities to mark the 2021 World Pharmacists Day.
The exercise which started on Sept. 27, is part of its week-long free medical outreach to patients and is being spearheaded by the hospital’s Department of Pharmacy.
Rachel Ameh, Head of the Pharmacy Department, Garki hospital, said that the week-long exercise would also include the distribution of free malaria drugs and free hepatitis tests.
Ameh said that the hospital would also carry out health talks on proper storage and use of medicines.
The World Pharmacists day is celebrated annually on Sept. 25.
The theme for the 2021 celebration is “Pharmacy: Always Trusted for Your Health”.
“As part of activities to mark the day, we have collaborated with pharmaceutical companies to put together a deworming exercise for at least 1,000 persons.
“It is a privilege to be alive today despite so many things happening around including the pandemic.
“This is a day worth celebrating; the world pharmacists’ day is worth celebrating so we decided to impact on people’s lives.
“In our own little way, we want to help improve the health of the people.
“We looked for a way that we can touch people’s lives and we came up with this in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies to deworm members of the community and, by doing so, improve the health of the populace.
“We have free testing for hepatitis B and if the patient is certified as negative, you can take the immunisation,” Ameh said.
She said that the aim of the world pharmacists’ day is to draw attention to pharmacies, pharmacists, and the positive benefits they offer when it comes to healthcare.
Ameh said that it was also a time for pharmacists’ working in hospitals to reflect on the growing scope of practice and the vital roles performed by pharmacists all over the world.
She called on pharmacists’ to be better advocates for quality and safe drug distribution to improve the quality of life of patients.
“The pharmacist is always the patients’ first contact; on the healthcare professional team, the pharmacist is also the one that is more patient friendly.
“I call on all pharmacists’ to take better charge of their role as healthcare professionals. We should always try to check the quality of the drugs and get them from the right source.
“We should also always keep abreast of best practices as professionals to impact positively on the patients,” Ameh said.
Mrs Perpetua Fufenwa, a civil servant and beneficiary of the free outreach, said that she benefited from the free deworming exercise and the hepatitis test.
Fufenwa expressed joy at the opportunity provided by the hospital to get treated.
“I am a civil servant, my brother is in the hospital, so I saw the poster and came. I saw the deworming and the hepatitis test which I did.
“I asked and they told me that it is free, I was given the tablets free. The pharmacists were good to me and my test was negative so they advised me on what next to do.
“They advised that I go and take the hepatitis vaccine which is what am going for now. I thank the organisers and wish them well in their endeavours,” Fufenwa said.
Mr Mathias Ali, a security guard at the Garki hospital and a beneficiary of the medical outreach also expressed appreciation for the gesture and urged the hospital to scale up the exercise to enable more people to benefit.
“I came to collect the medication for deworming, I am happy to have the free treatment. I urge the organisers to continue with the outreach so that more people can benefit from it just as I have,” Ali said.
The outreach is organised by Garki hospital in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies such as Emzor, Healthline, Medline, Topgrade, Shallina, Getz, Sanofi, and Fidson. (NAN)