the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to include their pharmacies among facilities to be given the meningitis vaccine.
The ACPN National Chairman, Dr. Albert Alkali, said this at a briefing organised by the association to unveil its new emblem in Lagos.
According to Alkali, community pharmacists are closer to the people at the grassroots and extending vaccination points to their facilities will increase the number of Nigerians that are immunised against the disease.
He said, “When there is an outbreak, it is important to increase vaccination points to allow more access. Not only are we the first port of call for sick persons, we are also to be included in immunisation programmes. Vaccines are pharmaceutical products and community pharmacists are the best custodians of these potent molecules as we’re already trained to store them under the best temperature so they are not denatured.”
The pharmacist also urged government at all levels to be more proactive by initiating vaccination programmes before outbreaks.
According to him, the meningitis outbreak could have been prevented if vaccination programmes were carried out before the dry season.
Alkali added, “We know that meningitis infection spreads when the temperature is high. We know the endemic regions and states .We should have predictions on the weather and once temperatures start rising, we must immunise.”
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