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HIV/AIDS: Pharmacists Council Pledges Enhanced Participation In Fight Against Virus

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) says it will enhance participation in the fight against HIV/AIDS by enforcing regulatory practices governing drug administration and usage as it concerns managing the virus.

Mrs Anthonia Aruya, the Director, Inspection and Monitoring, made the pledge in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Sunday, as a reminder to the occasion of the 2020 World AIDS Day.

The day is annually celebrated on Dec. 1 since 1988 to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic, caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourn those who died of the condition.

 The theme for 2020 is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact” aimed at focusing more attention to The HIV scourge, increase awareness and knowledge, as well as speak against stigma.

Aruya said that as a regulatory agency covering facilities and premises, institutions and various aspects of pharmacy practice, PCN was actively involved in steps and actions taken at the level of Federal Ministry of Health, as well as collaborate with donor agencies in managing the HIV/AIDS scourge.

She said that the enforcement of regulatory practices governing drug administration and usage regarding the management of HIV cases in the country was of utmost importance.

She explained that the measure was to streamline drug distribution value chain to promote availability of safe, effective and quality medicines, including the Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and relevant supplements.

She said “we bring our contributions on the issue of drug administration and regulation, as well as enlightenment, among other collaborative efforts, aimed at checking the infection rate and management of the deadly virus.

“The PCN drug regulatory and management activities are in fulfillment of its mandate stated in the PCN Act, Cap P17, LFN 2004.”

Mr Chike Arisa, a Pharmacist based in Abakaliki, urged the federal and state governments to step up collaboration with donor agencies to ensure steady supply and provision of ARV drugs to manage infected persons.

He said “the COVID-19 has relegated HIV/AIDS to the background, with too much attention given to the former, which has ravaged the world since December 2019.

“It should however be observed and propagated with massive enlightenment that while many COVID-19 patients have been cured, people living with HIV can only manage and have to live with it for life, as it has no cure yet and has been killing people.”

He urged relevant authorities to continue to propagate the preventive messages of HIV/AIDS alongside that of COVID-19.

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