Nairobi — The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) is set to provide the public with free professional advice on recommended drug use at selected pharmacies and hospitals countrywide over the next week.
The nationwide drive which will also take place at the Kenyatta National Hospital will see 35 hospitals take part in a campaign against inappropriate use of drugs.
Speaking during a walk to commemorate World Pharmacists Day on Tuesday, PSK President Louis Machogu said the campaign will look at all medications patients take and check whether the patients are taking them as per recommendations by doctors.
"The reality is that an increasing number of patients and caregivers have little or no clue what their medications are for and what to expect from taking them," he said.
"Inappropriate use of medicine is extremely harmful and costly both to the individual and population as a whole. As the umbrella professional body for pharmacists, we cannot sit back and do nothing. We have a commitment to promoting professionalism and safety and this campaign is aimed at achieving precisely this," said Machogu.
He urged members of the public to bring all their medication to participating health centers for advice.
Worldwide, it is estimated that half of all patients fail to take their medicine properly, and growing resistance to antimicrobial medicines is a major concern.
PSK hopes that this initiative to seek information only from experts will lead to quicker recovery times and reduced medical expense. It is also launching an identification badge for registered pharmacists branded with their logo. This will enable the public to identify legitimate pharmacists when they walk into a pharmacy to ensure they are given the right medicine, at the right dose and in the most suitable formulation.
"As one of the most accessible and trusted health professionals globally, pharmacists are in a unique position to drive positive transformation in public healthcare. Our efforts to do this are not limited to World Pharmacist Day, but will continue even after," Machogu added.
PSK has an established record of driving positive change in public healthcare.
Last year, in a campaign to raise awareness about ethical disposal of medicines, PSK collected over 65 tonnes of expired medicines that were posing a public health risk across the nation and destroyed them by incineration.