A total of 105 over-the-counter- medicine-sellers (OTCMS) in the Eastern Region have received training to strengthen their role in the healthcare delivery system.
The OTCMS, operators of drug stores in the Yilo Krobo, Upper Manya Krobo and Lower Manya area had their knowledge updated to ensure that they operated in line with the best practices of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Pharmacy Council.
They were also tasked to refer their clients whose medical conditions were beyond them to the nearest health facility within their operational areas.
The three-day training programme was organised by the Japanese Organisation for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICEFP), a non-governmental organisation(NGO), with support from TAKEDA, a pharmaceutical company in Japan.
Some of the topics they were taken through were on maternal and child issues as well as family planning to enable them to educate their clients better.
Others were social and behavioural change communication to enhance the use of insecticide treated nets, teenage pregnancy and its complications, alcohol, drug and substance abuse, general protocols and guidelines on COVID-19 prevention.
Best health practices
The Country Director of JOICEFP, Mr Emmanuel Obeng, in his closing remarks, noted that OTCMS had become part of the medical system; hence the need to equip them with the relevant knowledge and skills to enable them to operate in line with the best practices of the GHS and the Pharmacy Council, the regulator.
He urged the participants to regularly submit reports to the GHS regarding the number of contraceptives they sold and the referrals they made which would serve as a monitoring tool for the GHS and share what they had learnt with those who patronised their products and educate them on sexual reproductive health.
The lead facilitator for the training, Ms Rebecca Onyame, stressed the need for the OMTCS to refer pregnant women to antenatal clinics so that they could attend the clinics at least four times before they delivered for the early detection of abnormalities of pregnancy, management and prompt referral to hospitals if need be.
She emphasised that it was important that women who delivered attend post-natal clinic after 48 hours for the first time, second one after seven days and the third one after 40 days or six weeks.
Ms Onyame also stressed the need for OTCMS to refer sexually active teenagers to the Family Planning Unit for counselling, saying this will go a long way to reduce the high maternal mortality rate in the region.
A participant, Ms Ramla Carboo, on behalf of her colleagues, thanked the organisers for the training and pledged that they would practise what they had learnt for the benefit of their clients.