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The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone as part of its Memorandum of Understanding with Consumer Protection Agency delivers a profound lecture at a workshop to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day. The theme to mark the day was ‘’ Antibiotics Resistance’’.  The workshop took place at the YWCA hall on Tuesday 15th March 2016.



Ag. Deputy Registrar, Pharm James Komeh making a statement to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day at the YWCA Hall on the 15th March 2016



Pharm. James Komeh, the Ag. Deputy Registrar of Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone stated that Antibiotic resistance is something that is currently affecting Sierra Leone as a country especially in Tuberculosis patients. He mentioned that the responsibility to fight antibiotic resistance is just not one-sided, but a collective one of both the regulatory body and the end users which are the consumers. He stated that Antibiotic resistance is a very big threat to society because people can be on these antibiotics thinking they are getting treatment from their ailment but because they have developed some sort of resistance they would not be getting any better but rather the disease would be slowly killing them.

Pharm. Komeh added that as a result of antibiotic resistance people have the tendencies to spend more money on medication for treatment as they would not be getting better due to the resistance. He also highlighted some of the challenges the country is facing included a breakdown in the economic development of the country as a lot of money is being poured into getting medications that could not be working as a result of antibiotic resistant. Furthermore, he stated that due to some financial struggle by some patients they cannot afford the cost of the medication being prescribed for them and so they often resort to just buying some of the medication instead of the full dose that would be required for the treatment of their specific condition. In his statement, he appealed to consumers to stop aiding peddlers by buying products from them as that could also be a reason for the rise in antibiotic resistance across the country.

He noted that the Board has done so much to eradicate drug peddling in the country adding that without the help of the consumer the Board alone will not succeed in this fight. Without customers to buy from these peddlers he noted there will be no drug peddlers in the streets adding that failing to do the right thing like buying medicines from licensed pharmacies will lead to the increase in the number of drug hawkers.

A cross-section of participants commemorating World Consumer Rights Day on the 15th March 2016

 

He reaffirmed that the Board has made a positive stride in the fight against counterfeit and substandard drugs over the years adding that some years back over fifty percent of drugs distributed in Sierra Leone were either counterfeit or substandard. He added that the Board took this as a challenge and today thanks to the cooperation of certain individuals and institutions such as the Consumer Protection Agency, Standards Bureau and the Police the country can boast of a significant success in the fight against counterfeit and substandard drugs as almost all drugs distributed by licensed premises are of good quality, safe and efficacious. 

Pharm. Komeh concluded by calling on the general public and all other partner agencies to continue to collaborate with the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone in order to eradicate drug peddling and the proliferation of counterfeit and substandard drugs in the country which in turn will lead to a reduction in antibiotic and other medicines resistance.

 

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