26

Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, a Liberian Medical Doctor, Biomedical Research Scientist, Social Activist, and inventor who specializes in infectious disease research has admonished the newly-inducted leadership of the Pharmaceutical Association of Liberia (PAL) to focus their work mainly on ensuring that only quality medications enter Liberia. Serving as Keynote Speaker, on Friday, June 21, 2024, at the official Inauguration program of the Pharmaceutical Association of Liberia (PAL), Dr. Nyan said Liberia has always been at the forefront of the development of science, economy, and several other key sectors within the region and the continent, with medicines being one of the key areas. The Liberian Scientist also called for the need to establish a national policy focusing directly on the sciences, math, and technology; because the country is seriously behind in these areas. Dr. Nyan further emphasized the need for the Government to increase the national allocation for the health budget to incorporate more science programs, thereby contributing to quality research and documentation by medical practitioners. According to him, over the years, traditional medicines have been used to cure certain illnesses; however, the challenge in Africa has been to evaluate traditional medicines with Western medicines, therefore, Dr. Nyan is calling for a program that seeks to evaluate traditional medicines into modern medicines as it is being done with the Chinese medicines in Europe. “If we don’t advocate for a better health system, this country will remain as it is, while we continue to improve our professionalism, there is an overarching need to also advocate for the needed resources to improve the health systems,” the Liberian Scientist intoned.  Dr. Nyan continued: so my dear elected colleagues, the challenge is ours to look at why scientific and other health-related regulations are not as effective as it is supposed to be, why patients are not getting the treatment at facilities as they should be.” Therefore, Dr. Nyan called on national actors and leaders to fully empower medical practitioners in every way possible, if they must fully function and provide better health outcomes for the citizenry. Also serving as Inducting Officer, the Managing Director of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA), Dr. Luke Bawo, called on the new PAL leadership to organize a symposium to address some of the critical issues outlined by Dr. Nyan.

He, at the same time, called on all actors in the health sector, especially the pharmaceutical sector to adhere to the donation policy promulgated by the LMHRA. According to him, the situation of near-to-expired medicines donated to the country, thereby causing serious expiry and medical waste for facilities and the LMHRA is unacceptable. “Since I took over the LMHRA, I have inherited several tons of pharmaceutical wastes for incineration, as a result of a huge donation of medicines that are near-expiry as well as the confiscation of substandard and falsified medicines; therefore, the LMHRA will place strong regulatory emphasis on donated medicines,” Dr. Bawo asserted. At the same time, the LMHRA Boss admonished pharmaceutical practitioners to place more time into scientific research and publications in medical or scientific journals as a means to improve the sector and enable future generations to have access to academic scientific materials. Meanwhile, the newly-inducted President of the PAL, Dr. Juwe Kercula, is calling on the Government to ensure the issue of reclassification of Pharmacists in the national budget.  Dr. Kercula at the same time called on the Ministry of Health to also make budgetary allocations for the West Africa College of Pharmacists (WACP) as it is done with other health associations. The PAL also admonished his colleagues to forget the past and work together for the collective good of the association. According to him, because he was elected without a single opponent, his administration has reaffirmed changing the narrative of Liberian pharmacists. Dr. Kercula used the occasion to appreciate all the past leadership of the PAL for their contributions and service to the association.“For too long pharmacists have been looked at from a narrow lens, we have been made to believe we aren’t a significant part of the health service delivery; rather, we are just some dispenser sitting in a little cubicle or a part of the supply-chain system,” he lamented. He continued: “Rural pharmacist practice is faced with huge challenges that must be changed. Therefore, his administration will initiate several activities and assessments across the country to understand the needs of Liberian pharmacies.” He vowed to ensure that the PAL will redirect its efforts to be more scientific and as well ensure the land of the association is developed over the next two years into a modern event hall and office facility for the operations of the PAL.

Comments are closed.