Accra, Ghana — The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye has endorsed the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana’s flagship SEAPS project. This was revealed in a speech read on his behalf by Pharm. Dr. Dominic Korsah Otchere, Director of Pharmaceutical Services for the Ghana Health Service (GHS), at the launch of the SEAPS (Strategy for Enhanced Access to Pharmaceutical Services) project.

In his speech, Dr. Otchere highlighted the alignment between the SEAPS project and the mission of the GHS, which focuses on increasing access to essential health services and managing resources prudently to provide responsive healthcare for all Ghana residents. He emphasized the importance of primary health care (PHC), noting that 75-85% of the population requires only primary care services annually.

“Primary health care has traditionally been the cornerstone of our national health system,” Dr. Otchere stated, underlining the GHS’s commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030. He acknowledged the critical role that pharmacies and pharmaceutical services play in this mission, particularly in underserved and rural areas where access to quality healthcare remains a challenge.

Dr. Otchere pointed out that the GHS has been at the forefront of national efforts to improve health outcomes by strengthening PHC. However, he noted that health centers, essential in the referral chain, had received less investment compared to district hospitals, resulting in only 43% of health centers being fully equipped for PHC by 2018. The GHS aims to upgrade these facilities into Model Health Centers, creating hubs of networks of sub-district facilities through the Networks of Practice (NoP) initiative.

The SEAPS project, supported by development partners, will integrate pharmacies an into these networks, enhancing access to quality essential healthcare and population-based services. Dr. Otchere highlighted the broad scope of pharmaceutical services, including procurement, dispensing, counseling, distribution, storage, and control of pharmaceuticals, as well as monitoring patient drug therapy.

“The pharmaceutical sector is indispensable to healthcare,” Dr. Otchere remarked, stressing that community pharmacists are often the first point of contact in the national healthcare system. He identified key issues such as inappropriate prescribing, inadequate monitoring, patient non-adherence, and adverse drug outcomes as areas where pharmacists’ involvement is crucial.

Dr. Otchere emphasized the evolving role of pharmacists from compounders and dispensers to drug therapy managers, reflecting the shift towards pharmaceutical care. He praised the PSGH for its efforts to bring healthcare delivery closer to communities and expressed his office’s commitment to receiving regular updates on the SEAPS project’s progress.

Concluding his speech, Dr. Otchere lauded the PSGH and the SEAPS initiative.