ALPs Advocates Integration of Herbal medicine into pharmacy practice

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L-R: Pharm. (Mrs)Salamatu Orakwelu, PSN chairman, FCT branch; Dr. (Mrs) Rametu Momodu, chairman, Planning Committee, 16th Biennial Conference of ALPs; Mrs Scholastica Lan, national chairman, ALPs and Pharm (Mrs) Obiageli Mbah, at the just concluded ALPs conference, held in Benin City, Edo State .

The Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs) has canvassed the infusion of herbal medicine into pharmacy practice in the country, saying this will not only help to improve healthcare outcomes but also accelerate attainment of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

To actualise this objective, the group called for the domestication of its Project ’91 by all its state branches, towards the establishment of standardised medicinal plant gardens as sources of properly cultivated and harvested herbal products.

The lady pharmacists made the submission through a communique, signed by the National Chairman, Pharm. Scholastica Lan, and National Secretary, Pharm. Ngozi Egboh, and made available to Pharmanews at the end of their five-day Biennial National Conference, held in Edo State, recently.

They underscored the potency of herbal medicines – which Africa has in abundance – stressing the critical role such formulations can play in addressing medicine insecurity, if properly harnessed with the supervision of pharmacists.

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The group also condemned the current mode of herbal practice in the country, where most of the medicines are in the hands of non-pharmacists. They emphasised the need for pharmacists to rise to the occasion by creating a herbal medicines section within their practice settings for compounding and sales of herbal medicines to further develop and standardise this aspect of pharmacy practice.

Part of the communique read: “Conference deliberated on ALPs Project ’91 and the importance of medicinal plant products for healing and well living. Conference discussed the application of herbal medicine and integrated pharmacy practice and lady pharmacists were encouraged to enhance their knowledge and skills about medicinal plants and apply them to patient care.

“Conference also called on state chapters to domesticate Project ’91 in their state by establishing standardised medicinal plant gardens to serve as a source of properly cultivated and harvested herbal products for the state. Conference called on state governments to support this laudable initiative.

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“Conference noted that collaboration cannot be overemphasised and is paramount to improving and strengthening the pharma value chain for the end user. Conference encouraged collaboration at interprofessional, intra-professional and intercommunity levels between pharmacists, and pharmacists with other healthcare providers.”

The female pharmacists also bemoaned the devastating consequences of drug abuse on children and youths in the country and called on both parents and the youth to play positive vital roles in both primary and secondary prevention of substance abuse.

They called for proactive measures by pharmacists to ensure controlled drugs are kept out of reach of children and street corners, maintaining that ethical drug distribution of Central Nervous System stimulants and other substances of abuse will go a long way in curbing illicit access. They reiterated an earlier call to government to ensure full implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDGs) to enable pharmacists fulfil their roles in this implementation.

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With the reality of the evolving nature of traditional models of pharmacy practice, ALPs further charged pharmacists to embrace technological advancements to harness new opportunities for novel practice models. This, they say will improve health outcomes of citizens.

They also appealed to the government for the provision of an enabling environment to ensure pharmacists contribute to promoting rational use of drugs, manage chronic diseases, and support public health initiatives within the nation’s healthcare delivery system in a manner that will assure positive recognition of these contributions nationwide.

“Conference challenged lady pharmacists to follow their passion, be innovative and specialise in diverse areas of pharmacy practice, while encouraging them to embrace technology and digital applications as they develop these new practice areas with emphasis on documentation of patient care activities, patient data and pharmaceutical care”, the document said.

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