As more and more healthcare professionals are testing positive for COVID-19, with the latest number of confirmed cases of health workers at 113, community pharmacists have proposed a withdrawal of their services if they are continuously vulnerable to the virus without the provision of personal protective equipment, PPE, from the government.
The pharmacists under the auspices of Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, stated that If continued work means continuous exposure to Coronavirus, without adequate protection, they will put their services on hold.
The association through a press statement stated its condition thus “If it becomes obvious that continuing rendering our services would be detrimental to our personal health and that of our family members without adequate attention from the government,” the Association will withdraw services of its members from the communities.
National Chairman of the ACPN, Dr Samuel Adekola further explained the crucial roles community pharmacists in the communities saying: “The valuable service that community pharmacists and their teams provide to communities, and their significant contribution to alleviating the great pressure on health systems during the current coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, is now more evident than ever.”
He said over 60,000 community pharmacists in Nigeria are exposed to COVID-19 with the current trend of community spread of the virus, it warned.
The ACPN lamented that despite its members playing important roles among the healthcare professionals, government has not thought it needful to capture the contribution of community pharmacists in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
It also decried the current situation whereby community pharmacists are exempted from among healthcare practitioners to receive protective gear in their services.