Members of the Maryland County Pharmacist Team have celebrated World Pharmacists Day in Harper City, Maryland County, amid protests by health workers here in demand of incentives and better conditions of work The celebration held in Maryland over the weekend on the theme “Transforming Global Health” brought together health workers, local officials, and students, among others.Speaking on a community radio station in Harper City, Pharmacist George S. Dokie said World Pharmacists Day is always set aside by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) to celebrate pharmacists around the world for their work.
According to him, the day is aimed at promoting and transforming people lives through quality health care. Mr. Dokie noted that Pharmacists play a major role in the health sector, so they deserve special attention.
He said Pharmacists give patients prescriptions for drugs, working along with doctors, nurses and Physician Assistants to help reduce pressure they face at health facilities. Mr. Dokie noted the role of Liberia’s pharmaceutical sector can’t be over emphasized due to their contribution to the health sector of Liberia.
He lauded pharmacists for working with patients in making show they take their medication properly. “Let me commend all of our pharmacists across the country for the times and efforts showing always at the health sectors; those efforts and times can’t be paid for, it is all about encouragement”, he said.
He lamented though there are several calls by health workers across the country for salaries payments but that alone can’t stop the dreams and efforts being exerted by pharmacists. However, he called on pharmacists and health workers across the country to exercise patience in serving the public.
Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Maryland County former Senator John A. Ballout, who is seeking reelection said, government should stop threatening health workers with dismissal and instead, find solutions to their problems.“We need them in the hospitals, not in the streets. We need to engage them and find a compromise instead of threatening them with dismissal,” Ballout said.
Having frowned on the government’s action, he however, cautioned health workers to understand that the government is currently faced with lots of challenges, so they need to find a compromise with the authorities.
“At the same, these health workers must understand that we have a government that is faced with lots of challenges, which we will have to overcome together as people. They cannot continue to stay in the street when people are dying in the hospital. So, whatever offer the government has made, let them keep it up and if there is something to add on it, let them do it. Their cause is just but they have to keep working and keep talking. It’s their rights and no one can take it from them,” Mr. Ballout added.
He acknowledged that it is health worker’s right to protest, but they should take advantage of dialogue and see how they could build on it to have the government meets some of their demands.
“This, too, will not happen overnight and they will not get everything they want and the government will not threaten them with dismissal because they cannot employ these people overnight. The mass dismissal is out of the question and it is wrong.”
Mr. Ballout further said both sides need to come in the middle and find a solution since this is a Liberian problem, especially when they are the ones in the frontline, battling the coronavirus pandemic. The former senator’s recent comment comes in the wake of ongoing actions by health workers across the Country, including the Maryland County Health Team.
By Patrick N. Mensah –Editing by Jonathan Browne