Pharmacists launch Covid-19 response task force

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) Chairman, Prof Francis Ndemo at a past event. Photo/PD/FILE

David Kipkorir

Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) has officially launched a Covid-19 response taskforce to ensure the availability of effective pharmacy practice services to serve the public in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The task force will also reach out to government and regulatory agencies, as well as healthcare providers, to find out how they can contribute to protecting public health needs in this emergency situation.

Chairman, Prof Francis Ndemo, said the task force would provide guidelines, protocols and training to community pharmacies on IPC, screening and testing, medication use in Covid-19, data collection and pharmacovigilance. 

“There will also be an effort to ensure testing of pharmacy staff for Covid-19,” Ndemo said.

The chairman said response team would ensure availability of essential health products and technologies needed for management of Covid-19 and other illnesses throughout the course of the pandemic.

 Ndemo said: “As the numbers of positive cases continue to soar in the outbreak of Covid-19, there is an imminent need for reducing barriers companies are experiencing with therapeutic medical breakthroughs needing to be deployed.

Ndemo said this was obviously a time when “we all have to behave responsibly to protect our fellow citizens and particularly those who are most vulnerable”. 

He urged retailers to behave responsibly in the exceptional circumstances of the Covid-19 outbreak.

This, he explained, would be achieved by providing advisory on supply chain preparedness, as well as by enforcing ethics in pricing.

Ndemo added that the taskforce would also provide advisory and training on data capture at pharmacy outlets for decision making.

“Sensitisation of both healthcare professionals as well as the general public on medication use for Covid-19 through effective and timely communication is part of the taskforce’s mandate,” said Ndemo.

The outbreak of Covid-19 is an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge that has prompted many concerns that businesses might exploit the situation to take advantage of people, for example by charging excessive prices or making misleading claims about their products.

The taskforce works through five committees and works to complement other private sector and government response.

More on National