By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The uncontrolled profusion of imported medicinal products is raising safety fears among stakeholders.
According to the deputy health minister Ms Nimo Qawdan who was addressing an on-going three days pharmaceutical police review workshop “the polices and laws governing the profusion and handling of pharmaceutical products are out-dated and not even implemented”
Ms Qawdan informed the participants of the workshop underway at the civil service hall in Hargeisa that the policies and laws managing the country’s pharmaceutical issues were put in place 12 years ago (2001) and not institutionalized thus need bringing to speed.
“Citizens are exposed to consumption of inappropriate medicines which are also priced exorbitantly and handled by unqualified persons”
She further informed the participating stakeholders pulled from relevant government agencies led by the ministry of health, Pharmacists association and the world Health organization-WHO among others that their inputs during the workshop will be utilized in the drafting of new policies and laws governing the pharmaceutical industry in Somaliland.
“Desirous in the proper management of medicines has called you here in order for you to help with ideas that shall be used as basis for the on-draft laws regulating the profusion and handling of pharmaceuticals in the country” Said Ms Nimo Qawdan
According to the WHO Somaliland country director Ms Asiya Osman medicines in the country are handled in a very unprofessional manner thus the imperative need for enforceable regulative measures.
Said she, “It is a common site to see hawkers peddling all sorts of medicines that they carter by hand or through wheelbarrows”
The Who Health Organization country chief also informed that the problem is not only hawking but the lack of training by a majority of current pharmacists in the country who are basically business people thus even avail their clients all drugs over the counter thence negating the need for prescriptions from Doctors.
The plan to regulate the pharmaceutical industry though late is much welcome considering that it is a very lucrative business which sees anybody with money and devoid of skills enter the trade in addition to employing unskilled persons mostly relatives who are not trained as pharmacists.
Due to the non-existence of polices and regulatory laws the government’s hands are tied thence citizens are not only exposed but forced to consume inappropriate and expired drugs.