World Bank funds pharmacist-training programme in NE

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2003, 20:00 GMT]
North East Provincial Ministry of Health launched a project called "External Pharmacist Training Programme (EPTP) 2003-2004" to train eligible persons from the NorthEast to qualify as pharmacists to prevent unqualified persons in running the private pharmacies. The project is being implemented under the North East Emergency Rehabilitation Programme (NEERP), funded by the World Bank.

The Chief Co-ordinator of the EPTP Mr.E.Pathmaheswaran said the WorldBank has allocated 2 million rupees to implement the project in the nine health divisions in the northeast province coming under the provincial ministry of health.

This is a two-year project under which training will be given to selected eligible persons in pharmacy on Saturdays and Sundays. After training they will be allowed to sit the external examination for pharmacists conducted by the Sri Lanka Medical Council. The training programme will be conducted in health divisions of Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Mannar, Kalmunai and Amparai, he said.

The inaugural event of the project was held Friday at the Batticaloa regional training centre, which is located in the office of the Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services.

The second training programme is to be held in Trincomalee at the provincial health ministry auditorium on December 30.

The entire population of the nine health divisions in the northeast province is about 2.6 million and more than three hundred private pharmacies are functioning. Sixty to seventy percent of these pharmacies are unlicensed and run by unqualified persons, sources said.

"It is a legal requirement that no license should be issued to any private pharmacy to function unless it employs a registered qualified pharmacist. This step has been taken to prevent quacks dispensing wrong drugs to patients resulting in death and other complications. To safeguard the community trained pharmacists should be made available to private sector pharmacies. Hence the launching of the EPTP to enable qualified persons to sit the external," said a provincial health official.

The implementing agency of the EPTP project is the NorthEast Provincial Health Ministry, sources said.

Meanwhile, reports from Jaffna district said several vacancies exist for pharmacists in government rural dispensaries, which are located in Analaitivu, Pungudutivu, Nainativu, Nedunthivu and Pandatherippu. Retired pharmacists have been employed in some dispensaries on contract basis. In some areas minor employees have been asked to dispense drugs to patients, sources said.

 

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