GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has given approval for the employment of 40 pharmacists.
He gave the approval on Monday when he received on courtesy visit, the leadership and members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Delta State Chapter at Government House, Asaba.
According to him, the recruitment will bridge the manpower deficiency of pharmaceutical personnel in government hospitals across the state.
He expressed worry that out of 64 government hospitals in the state, 39 had no pharmacists, stressing that such was not a healthy development to the health care policies and programmes of his administration.
While stating that no hospital could perform optimally without the professional input of a pharmacist, Governor Okowa, explained that despite the present global economic challenges, his administration would ensure that government hospitals in the state are fairly staffed to meet the healthcare needs of the people.
He pledged to look into all the issues presented to him with a view to addressing some of them for the overall good of residents of the state.
On the alleged issue of harassment by some government agencies, the governor urged members of the society to take up the issue with the relevant agencies if they noticed that what they (such agencies) were doing was not in line with the position of the law.
“If we have 40 pharmacists with 64 hospitals, we know that obviously, it is not right.
“I don’t see why we would allow the situation to degrade to that very level because I, also know that recently, I gave approval for the Hospitals Management Board (HMB) to employ doctors and nurses and I don’t think that reasonable provision was made to employ pharmacists.
“For us to have 39 of our hospitals without even a single pharmacists, obviously is not right and it ought not to be so.
“So, the Chairman of Hospitals Management Board, I am confident, can address that issue and I want that memo to get to my table before the close of the week, so that we can employ 40 pharmacists,” Governor Okowa said.
Earlier, the Delta State Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Society of Nigeria, Pharmacist (Dr.) Kenneth Otenne, said the visit was to commend Governor Okowa for his monumental achievements in all the positions that he had held as a politician and to also, seek ways of partnership in moving the healthcare sector in the state forward.
He outlined challenges inhibiting the professional body in the state to include shortage of pharmacists in government hospitals; denial of internship of the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, (DELSUTH), Oghara and other state hospitals; absence of accommodation for pharmacists on internship and non inclusion of pharmacists in the running of the primary health care as well as contributory health insurance scheme among others.
Highlight of the visit was the presentation of an award of excellence in the health sector to Governor Okowa by members of the society.