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ASPHCDA Launches DRF Scheme

The Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA) has launched a new Drug Revolving Fund (DRF) scheme to assist in curbing the out-of-stock syndrome that is plaguing Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state.

The Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, Pharmacist Chisom Uchem in her opening remark, noted that the event would birth a new DRF scheme in the Primary Healthcare Agency which would ensure continuous availability of cost-effective drugs at all the health facilities.

“We had a DRF previously practiced, but this new scheme will proffer solutions to the drawbacks of the previous scheme as we will ensure that the drugs at PHCs are cost-effective for the end users,’’ Pharmacist Uchem explained.

Uchem expressed her gratitude to the ASPHCDA Management, staff, and health workers for their support, especially the PHC Directors who worked assiduously to ensure that the programmes/activities of the Agency are affected at the grassroots.

She, then, announced the new PHC Directors who would fill vacancies and join in taking the lead in piloting affairs of the Agency at the grassroots.

The new Primary Health Care (PHC) Directors include, Mrs. Chinwe Ogugua Okeke, Mrs. Adamma Abigail Azolike, Mrs. Florence Francisca Ukpaka, and Mrs. Uju Julian Okoben who were all previously Deputy Directors in Grade Level 15.

The Director of the Disease Control and Immunization Department, ASPHCDA, Dr. Nnamdi Placid Uliagbafusi gave an overview of the DRF introduction in the Agency.

“Looking at the challenges and drawbacks of the DRF we ran for some time, we believe that this new model will be better as we have learned our lessons from the previously practiced DRF. With the help of the PHC Directors, health facilities will receive drugs according to their needs and populace and this will aid us avoid crisis situations,’’ he explained.

Dr. Uliagbafusi noted that the PHC essential drugs system would be of collective efforts where there are collaboration and consultations as the commodities are being rolled out.

“This process will provide a level playing ground for both suppliers and implementers which is the health facilities.’’

The PHC Director of the Dunukofia Local Government Health Agency ( LGHA), Dr. Chukwudi Njelita pointed out some drawbacks from the past DRF including; high cost of drugs, incomplete supply, sluggish communication, and the push model it practiced whereby drugs delivered to some PHCs was not what they needed.

He emphasized that with possible solutions proffered to these drawbacks, the new DRF model would be a success in health facilities across the state.

Dr. Chike Ohamobi, PHC Director for Awka North LGHA, appealed that drugs with a short shelf life that are about to expire should not be delivered into the system. He also urged that the drugs be packaged in a way it would be easy to distribute with the Agency assisting in taking records while ensuring that the drugs were given in full.

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Dr. Ikechukwu Obiudu, PHC Director for Njikoka LGHA, recommended that a committee be set up to continuously check for improvement in the new DRF scheme and that health workers should always ensure their inventories were up to date.

Mrs. Chinyere Edeh, PHC Director for Idemili North LGHA, urged health workers to have an attitudinal change to ensure the prosperity of the new DRF as they play a role in the sustainability of the scheme.

Dr. Frank Umeh, PHC Director for Awka South LGHA, emphasized that the pharmacovigilance aspect of the new DRF must be paid attention to.

“We have to keep records of batch numbers of each drug so it can be traced when the need arises because keeping batch number records of drugs supplied is very important,’’ he added.

PHC Director for Nnewi North LGHA, Dr. Ngozi Okeke said that they want to get the new DRF scheme right. “We have been in the system, we know the challenges we have and we want to make the changes’’.

She expanded on the need for appropriate and adequate supervision at the facilities level by the Directors and the Local Logistics Management Coordinating Units (LMCUs) of each LGHA.

The Secretary of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, and Igwe Olombanasaa, Anambra West LGA, Igwe Pius Omachonu noted that attitude to work and the corresponding behaviour was very important in the growth and success of any development.

“When drugs are supplied and it is not properly applied, there will be losses.’’

He suggested that the establishment of a proper performance management system be adopted as there should be a way of monitoring activities at the facilities level as they were the primary health management in the grassroots system.

The Traditional Ruler commended ASPHCDA for the “organised, strategic and sterling programme’’ while assuring of his continued support to the organisation.

The Sales Representative of Jessy Pharmaceutical Company, Mr. Kennis Onuh noted that his organization’s focus was on essential drugs which meet the needs of PHCs.

“We accepted the opportunity to partner with PHCs because we have a range of products that are important and necessary in health facilities. These are essential core drugs with a focus on PHC needs. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with PHCs as it will aid us foster the vision of the state government in bringing solutions to the needs of our people.’’

Award Global Healthcare Limited Pharmaceutical company’s Sales Representative, Pharm. Osita Eze noted that his company partnering in the DRF was passionate about ensuring that the best medical drugs were provided to the people at the grassroots at an affordable price.

In attendance at the event, which was held in Awka, were ASPHCDA Management and staff, PHC Directors, and Local Logistics Management Coordinating Units (LMCUs) of the 21 Local Government Health Authorities (LGHAs), Health workers, and Partners.