Why community pharmacies, PPMVs should be integrated into family planning services – Experts
Experts say there is a need for the federal government and other stakeholders to integrate community pharmacists and patented proprietary medicine (PPMV) vendors in the delivery of family planning services.
They said so during a media roundtable on the IntegratE project organized by Nigeria Health Watch, in collaboration with the Society for Family Health.
The IntegratE project implemented by a consortium led by the Society of Family Health (SFH) is co-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and MSD for Mothers with the aim of improving the quality of family planning services provided by pharmacists community (CP) and patented and proprietary medicine (PPMV) vendors in underserved areas of Lagos and Kaduna states.
The implementation of a multi-level accreditation system approved by the NCP supports efficient and quality service delivery.
Emeka Okafor, project manager, IntegratE project, Society for Family Health, said there was a need to revise the task transfer and sharing policy to formally integrate PPMVs into the delivery of family planning services, to give them the necessary skills and ensure quality service delivery. .
He said, âLet’s have this framework that will allow these people to provide these services in a qualitative way. So you have the option of accessing family planning services through public or private sector channels, and getting the quality and level of service as well.
The Director and Head of the Reproductive Health Division of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Kayode Afolabi, said improving the use of family planning commodities cannot be achieved by government alone, but by collaboration with other stakeholders such as the private sector.
He said the private sector accounts for about 60 percent of health service delivery, especially sexual and reproductive health services.
Nigeria Pharmacists Council (PCN) Registrar Pharmacist Elijah Mohammed said community pharmacies and stores selling patented and proprietary medicines are usually the first point of access to primary health care for most people. Nigerians, especially in rural and underserved areas.
He said that although PPMVs are particularly popular for family planning because of their widespread availability, location in the community, constant drug stocks, extended hours of operation, personalized interactions and their free consultation services, they are often responsible for suboptimal care prevalent in the health sector.
âTherefore, due to their poor quality services caused by insufficient skills and knowledge, PPMVs have not been integrated into the formal health system by the public sector and the government, which has an impact on timely referrals and follow-up treatments, âhe said.
Society for Family Health CEO Dr Omokhudo Idogho, who was represented by IntegratE project deputy party leader Michael Alagbile, said that since 2017 the project has been able to deliver high impact training on family planning to the private sector. service providers in both states.
âThe project has also successfully developed a demand creation, notification and referral system to strengthen family planning service delivery at the community level,â he added.
Vivianne Ihekweazu, executive director of Nigeria Health Watch, said the project showed how the private sector can help the government expand access to family planning services in the country, especially in rural areas.