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Pharmacy Board records swift reform

Pharmacy Board records swift reform

Sierra Express Media has been able to ascertain that the country’s agency for the protection of the public health of the nation – Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone (PBSL) has met speedy reforms to ensure among other things that its work is effective and the nation’s health is preserved.  (Photo: WCN Johnson, Registrar, Pharmacy Board)

Whilst the Board was able to make the record of drastically reducing the rate of fake and expired drugs in registered pharmaceutical outlets in the country from around 98% from 2007 to date, it has also been revealed that close to four billion Leones worth of fake drugs have been publicly destroyed; serving as a deterrent to those that take on the importation and smuggling of such products.

SEM has also been able to learn that since the government in 2007 brought in the new registrar of the Pharmacy Board, Wiltshire CN Johnson, the administration and effectiveness of the board in executing its state duty has also seen phenomenal improvement.  Health Ministry officials who spoke to this press assert that whereas the Board used to be operated as a one-man-affair, WCN Johnson has since his taking over ensured those roles and functions are requisitely delegated and a proper control and record system achieved for transparency and effectiveness in its service delivery in the country.

Board members under the guidance of the Registrar have also ensured that a deputy registrar in the person of James P. Komeh is appointed, a move officers at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and a cross section of civil society heads have lauded and seen as expedient enough if seriousness must be put into the achievement of a cleaner public health in the country.  Added to this, it has been learnt that many other relevant departments will be unveiled at the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone that will match up with the mammoth task and constitutional responsibility given to the Board to regulate all drugs, pharmaceutical products and cosmetics within the borders of Sierra Leone.

Another laudable venture the board has embarked on is that of the improvement of its staff capacity to deliver on their mandate to maintain a serene health care service delivery in Sierra Leone. “Wiltshire Johnson has ensured that all Heads of Departments and general staff attain various trainings pertinent to their job descriptions and mandate,” Sahr E. Gbomor; one of the HODs told SEM in a snap interview earlier this week; adding that “the vast majority of us have been equipped in just the past two years in various areas of standard drugs and pharmaceutical regulatory service delivery”.

Sahr. E. Gbomor revealed to this medium that “under the leadership of the current registrar and with the help of government and its development partners; a new structure befitting the work of the PBSL has been attained which he said will ensure that its offices and department are all housed in the new headquarters located at New England Ville in Freetown.

Speaking to Mr. Johnson in a telephone interview, he said “Sierra Leone is all we have as Sierra Leoneans and so I see no reason why we should not give our all to ensuring we lift it from the drains of underdevelopment and backwardness to a state that we can be proud to refer to our motherland. Our work at the Pharmacy Board is a huge task but the Board, my staff, and myself take it as our own little challenge in the service to our nation as depicted in the current drive of ‘agenda for change’ instituted by the President of the Republic” he added.

Asked what his next move is in respect of the public health assurance in the country, WCN Johnson said “we have come a long way in the fight against the evils of fake medicines in the country’s pharmaceutical market but the challenges to come are still very plenty and chief amongst them is the issue of weak regulatory laws governing drug peddling, the smuggling of fake drugs expired drugs. God has been our helper and with the current willingness of the Vice President Hon Sam-Sumana who acts as Minister of Health and the Deputy Health Minster,  Hon. Mohamed Doudis Koroma; we are moving swiftly to the reformation and repealing of the Drugs and Pharmaceutical Act of 2001 in a bid to ensure that the law is able to serve as a deterrent to committing crimes against the health of the citizenry”.

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