NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 29 -The Kenya Pharmaceutical Association (KPA) has raised concerns over increased dispensing of medical facilities by quacks.
In a statement sent to newsroom, the association notes that it is an offence for other persons other than registered or enrolled pharmacists/pharmaceutical technologists to sell, possess and handle medicines both in public and private sector.
“The country had previously experienced a shortage of pharmaceutical personal necessitating other cadres of medical profession to assist in dispensing of medicines to patients in our public facilities. Currently the ratio of pharmaceutical service provision in Kenya is 1 to 6000 patients against the World Health Organization recommendation of 1 to 2000 patients. This ratio is nothing short of alarming,” the statement reads.
To meet the demand the government approved at least 23 new colleges to train pharmaceutical professionals but the body says more should be done.
The Association is also raising the red flag over the planned increase in the cost of drugs due to taxes being imposed under the VAT Bill.
“This will not only impede the affordability but seriously compromise on the provision of healthcare services and access to prescription drugs to the people of Kenya.”
In regard to devolution, they say they are encouraging KPA branches to engage their county governments saying at the national level, they have engaged the Ministry of Health, Parliament and the Transition Authority to strategize on how pharmaceutical techs’ welfare can be addressed.
“It’s our belief that all pharmaceutical services from dispensaries to referral hospitals in private and public institutions should be provided by trained pharmaceutical personnel. We would also like to request the governors to ensure this actually takes place.”
“We would like to inform the people of Kenya and the medical fraternity that unqualified people dishing out medicine is a danger to the user and the handler. It is also illegal and uneconomical to hire the wrong staff to handle these sensitive commodities that are critical in medical treatment.”
They said there was need to distinguish all health cadres and understand their specialties so as to consider giving them employment opportunities that is equal to their qualification.
“It is our belief that Kenyans have a constitutional right to access quality health care in all levels from dispensaries to referral hospital. We will therefore do our best as an association to ensure that this is actualized,” they said.