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Association of Community Pharmacists Distributes Subsidized Hand Sanitizers
As Nigeria is making frantic efforts to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has flagged -off the distribution of subsidized hand sanitizers in its quest to ensure basic health hygiene amongst Nigerians.
The event which was held in Lagos on Tuesday was presided over by the National Chairman of the Association, Pharm. Samuel Adekola. He expressed concern that the association has been contending with panic stricken clients that are gradually stripping pharmacies of essential items which are fast becoming a lot more difficult to replenish on the shelves.
Adekola said : “These concerns compel us at the ACPN to come up with an acceptable minimum benchmark or code of conduct to deal with the current pandemic of COVID-19 which has now assumed the dimension of a pandemic”.
He also assured consumers of health that the Community Pharmacies and their staff would remain open to provide services with no barriers, no testing and no chance of closing to the public; notwithstanding the reality of shutdowns which is currently confronting the public.
“The ACPN has successfully liaised with NAFDAC which has now given authorisation for massive central production of affordable hand sanitisers from the stables of our local manufacturers.
“These affordable hand sanitisers are now available at reasonable prices at Community and Hospitals Pharmacies manned by Pharmacists across the length and breadth of Nigeria to clients who always need them to maintain good hygienic standard”.
However, the association has also warned consumers of health against the indiscriminate consumption of chloroquine. Adekola asserted that the drug has only been approved for clinical trail
of the treatment of coronavirus.
“We find it necessary to caution Nigerians against the indiscriminate and excessive consumption of chloroquine and similar medicines in the quest to obviously prevent COVID -19. At both the global and national level, bodies like FDA and NAFDAC have only approved the use of chloroquine in the clinical trials of the management/treatment of COVID-19”.
He added that pharmacists have observed observed an unprecedented demand for chloroquine since a prominent world leader who is certainly not an expert in the area of health made the unguarded declaration. Adekola also added: “The ACPN has therefore mandated its members to stock all essential medicines which may be needed to manage this current public health emergency while it lasts.
“But we advise all potential consumers who will procure chloroquine to seek the professional guidance and counsel of registered pharmacists so that appropriate doses can be dispensed with necessary precautionary measures including possible side effects, adverse reactions and other dosage regimen details which will be communicated professionally”.
Pharm. Adekola expertly opined that it has been verified that corona virus obstructs the respiratory pathway by producing mucous which blocks the airways and lungs. He therefore said that treatment must focus on unblocking the airways and lungs.
He also added that since the blockage of the airways of the lungs occurred within a few days, he therefore e gave some recommended measures that could slow down the progression and activation to a full-blown disease manifestation.
“Drinking a lot of liquid preferably warm water. Hot soups in a variety of the local presentations is desirable. Administering warm water every 20minutes makes the mouth moist as well as washes away any virus in the mouth.
“The insignificant amount that may get into the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) or gut can be taken care of by stomach acid thus preventing the virus from getting into the lungs.
“Employing gargles with warm water, vinegar, lemon water and antiseptics everyday reduces the chances of the virus from getting to the lungs”.
Pharm Adekola also advised that clothes and hands should be washed regularly. Alternatively, he advised that those that cannot wash their clothes regularly for whatever reason should spread them in direct sunlight to kill the virus.
“Avoid touching handrails, other metal surface such as door handles because the virus can last for up to nine hours on such hard surfaces.
Avoid smoking especially in this season of emergency.
“You need to regularly wash your hands with soap that foams even if you cannot afford a hand sanitiser. An interval of at least 30minutes is suggested in between hands washing”.
Similarly, Adekola also urged Nigerians to eat fruits and vegetables as they will increase body natural vitamin C levels and also advised increment of zinc intake by Nigerians. He counselled that the prescribed ingredients were salient to boost natural immunity against the virus.
He clarified that animals cannot spread the disease. He made it clear that the transmission could only be from human to human.
“Animals do not spread the virus. It is largely a human to human contact that facilitates its spread.
All tendencies of social distancing currently being preached must be observed”.
He therefore assured that the Association of Community Pharmacists would give premium attention to the health needs of the public. “We assure members of the public that Community Pharmacists will continue to remain your invaluable ally in the quest to preserve good health, wellness and vitality for all citizens of our great country Nigeria,” added Adekola.