Monday, July 6, 2009

Medicines consume 60 To 80 per cent of cost Of health care

About 60 to 80 per cent of the cost of health care in the country goes into drugs and this is expected to increase with new and more potent drugs being imported for treatment of malaria and other diseases.However, these diseases could be prevented at a less cost and rational use of drugs in managing other diseases help reduce pressure on health resources, Dr. James Akpablie, Upper East Deputy Regional Health Director, has said.Dr. Akpablie was speaking at the launch of Drug Safety Campaign in Bolgatanga on the theme "Irrational Drug Use and Poor Lifestyle, a Barrier to National Development" organized by the Ghana Pharmaceutical Students Association (GPSA) and the Ghana Herbal Medical Students Association (GHEMSA).Its purpose is to promote good health and rational use of drugs by way of educating and sensitizing people.He suggested that in promoting rational drug use, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) should include the promotion of scientifically proven and effective traditional and herbal medicines, review patients reporting with chronic conditions and implement policies to control the use of alcohol, and support the fight against substandard and fake medicines.Dr. Akpablie said changes in patterns of diseases had made it necessary to monitor medicines used in treating chronic conditions like High Blood Pressure, Diabetes Mellitus and others."It also calls for increased education of the public on disease prevention, health promotion and the issue of self diagnosis and medication, first aid and the need to look at the use of alternative Non-Drug Treatment", he said.Dr. Akpablie said MOH and GHS had put in place structures to ensure safe, efficacious and cost effective use of medicines and recommended that rational use of drugs be incorporated in the curricula of all institutions involved in the training of health workers. He said National Centre for Pharmacovigilance, responsible for the regular collection of reports from health care providers and the general public on Adverse Drug Reactions, had been established and appealed to people to report all adverse reaction to any drug to health authorities.He said drug and therapeutic committees had been set up in all major health facilities to ensure correct, efficient and cost effective management of drugs, while personnel conduct and disseminate quarterly findings of surveys on Rational Drug Use in some health facilities. He called on all health workers to seriously ensure that they took adequate history on drugs usage by patients and spend more time to counsel patients on the medicines they dispense to them. The students would be in the region for one week and visit communities, schools, churches, mosques, organized groups and market places to educate the people.

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