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Pharmaceutical Association decries neglect by government

By Lewis S. Teh

The newly elected president of the Pharmaceutical Association of Liberia (PAL) Ms. Matilnue Dukuly Fahnbulleh says Liberia is faced with difficult healthcare services that pose threat to the growth of the country.

“We find ourselves in an unusually complex and difficult health care environment. Ethical challenges, clinical challenges, protecting our profession and ensuring the wellbeing of Pharmacists are contending issues we are confronted with”, Madam Fahnbulleh says. 

She notes that said challenges have had a toll on the quality of services they offer as pharmacists and are fundamental to Liberia’s Healthcare delivery system.

Ms. Fahnbulleh spoke recently when she was officially inducted into office as the newest and first female president of the Pharmaceutical Association of Liberia at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ministerial complex in Congo Town.

She also noted the coronavirus pandemic and other health care issues have further exacerbated the problem, placing strain on government’s scarce resources, and making it difficult to address the many challenges.   

According to her, the Pharmacy Association, like any other professional body, needs leadership, saying not just any kind of leadership, but one that is selfless and places the interest of all above personal interest. 

She says it will take strong collaboration and cooperation between the PAL and other institutions and their encouragement to one another to help address the challenges they’re faced with. 

“We must function as a team, recognizing that the greatest success does not come from the effort of one or more individuals but from team effort”, emphasizes.

 She discloses the first and most important task of her administration is to unify the PAL, adding “We’ve been through a lot as an Association.”

Ms. Fahnbulleh however went on to say the PAL like any organization, has issues, saying those deep-rooted issues were intensified during the period of elections. 

“Today, we make a firm commitment to unify this Association. We will initiate dialogue at different levels and put in place the requisite framework that makes everyone [to] feel important, needed and accepted.”

She further notes that pharmacists in Liberia remain one of the most educated, yet least utilized, least paid and not appreciated in the health sector.

She indicates that such actions have led to diminished quality output among Pharmacists and have triggered a brain drain in Pharmacy Practice because most Pharmacists are considering other options that are more lucrative and respected. 

“Colleagues, our leadership will be far different from the past, because with your support this leadership will be very committed to finding an equitable solution to the reclassification struggle”, Madam Fahnbulleh vows. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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