A research team of health professionals from the African Regional Health Education Centre, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan has campaigned for a more effective synergy between relevant government agencies and Patent Medicine Vendors, PMVs for the attainment of optimum impact in universal health care coverage.
They said the partnership is vital to the realization of set targets in health care delivery in view of the reliance of majority of the citizenry especially rural dwellers on the services provided by the PMVs.
Leader of the team, Professor Ademola Ajuwon, stated this in Calabar while presenting the outcome of a research findings on the assessment of the processes, mechanism of influence of proprietary patent medicine vendors’ training on access to and utilization of injectable contraceptive services in Nigeria.
Ademola who was represented by Dr Ayodeji Adebàyo opined that regular trainings and supervision of the PMVs will boost their capacity and minimize lost of lives attributable to wrong dosages of injectable contraceptives and non-referral of sensitive cases beyond their capacity.
He stressed that given the high level of patronage being enjoyed by the patent medicine dealers, there is an urgent need for a legal framework to regulate their operations to check quackery, guarantee accountability and ensure strict compliance to operational guidelines from regulatory agencies.
In he remarks, Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Health, Barrister Takon who stood in for the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu applauded the team for their findings which he described as empirical and incontestable.
He noted that the patent medicine dealers were key stakeholders in government resolve to achieve universal health coverage hence a regular interface to keep them abreast with government policy direction was already on course.
Also, Director General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong said government will adopt the findings for the needed collaboration to achieve set objectives.
She warned proprietary patent medicine dealers against engaging in abortion but should rather operate within the ambit of the law and to always refer cases beyond their limit to government or duly recognized health facilities promptly to save lives.
Earlier, Chairman of the State Chapter of the body, Mr Samuel Etim expressed delight at the recognition accorded them as critical partners in the health system and sued for constant interaction for mutual benefits.