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Federal hospital CEOs diverting drug funds, PSN alleges
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 30 Nov 2023   ||   Nigeria,
 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has called on the Federal Government to probe alleged corrupt cases made against some of the Chief Executive Officers of the Federal Health Institutions.

The call was made at the just concluded 96th Annual National Conference of the PSN, which was held in Gombe state.

The conference, titled, ‘Jewel City 2023,’ with a theme; “Pharmaceutical Practice: A Pivot to Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria”, was held between October 30 and November 4 at Gombe International Conference Centre, Bauchi Road, Gombe State, Nigeria.

The communique, signed by the President, Prof. Cyril Usifoh, and National Secretary, Mr Garfa Madehin, the PSN also raised alarm over the unregistered two million drug sellers in the country.

“The conference called for the probe of corruption against some of the CEOs of the FHIs, whom empirical data confirms, indulge in the procurement of drugs through their proxies in addition to diverting Drug Revolving Funds accruable to identifiable bank accounts that are not official accounts in their institutions.

“The conference called for a special retreat to resuscitate GRF by bringing together the HODs of Pharmacy and the CEOs of all the FHIs with a caveat to mandate the PSN National Executive Council to sponsor the same if the Federal Ministry of Health is interested in such collaboration,” the communique read.

The PSN also warned that the mortality rate in the health system would surpass the all-time high of 10.8 per cent recorded in 1998 if the funding of the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria was neglected.

It read, “The conference highlighted the unfavourable status quo of over two million unregistered drug sellers, 35 open markets, fake drug syndrome with a high incidence rate of 16 per cent to 48 per cent based on various national and international studies in the last 25 years, the unacceptably high rate of drug abuse involving the use of narcotics and controlled drugs even when the government embarks on what has always been described as insufficient funding of agencies involved with drug distribution in Nigeria.”

The PSN, in the communique, called for proactiveness in dealing with emerging diseases and also appealed to the Federal Government to fund research-based pharmacists in pharmaceutical institutions.

“The conference called for proactiveness in dealing with emerging diseases, including Lassa fever, Ebola, coronavirus, Monkeypox, Buruli ulcer, diphtheria, and other related diseases.

“The conference encouraged government at all levels to make funds available to research-based pharmacists in research institutes, drug research and production units, centre for drug discovery and the pharmacy schools to identify, research, and produce drugs of choice for use in our peculiar environment. This is the only way to actualise the concept of universal health coverage with pharmacists as the pivotal point persons,” it added.

 

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