Liberia Medical and Dental Council Prohibits Treatments at Pharmacies, Drugstores
Monrovia – As part of measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease, the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) has banned all pharmacies and drugstores from providing treatment at their facilities.
The LMDC also warned that other than drugs prescribed by a medical doctor; these businesses should not sell to medications to customers.
“No pharmacy or drugstore is allowed to provide treatment at their facilities and medication should be based on doctor’s advice,” the LMDC said in a statement recently through its Registrar General, Moses G. Pewu.
The LMDC is an autonomous government agency charged with the authority to regulate and monitor the practice of medicines within Liberia.
The ban comes following the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) reported that its first COVID-19 patient sought over-the-counter treatment at a pharmacy in Monrovia after experiencing fever and unproductive cough.
Mandates for Healthcare Professionals
The LMDC also called on health workers to adhere to the infectious Prevention (IPC) policy instituted by the Ministry of Health and the LMDC to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare professionals, as well as to reduce the risk posed by COVID-19.
The IPC is a scientific approach and practical solution designed to prevent harm caused by infection to patients and health workers. It is grounded in infectious diseases, epidemiology, social science and health system strengthening.
In addition, the LMDC has mandated that only licensed healthcare professionals will be allowed at every triage area of any health facility, while all referral procedures should be done in accordance with the IPC protocols by health professionals.
It called on all doctors covering health facilities to increase constant visitation at the facility to ensure the IPC protocols are adhered to, adding, “No health professionals are allowed to provide treatment outside of health facilities, such as hospitals, health centers and clinics.”
At the same time, the LMDC has mandated all health facilities to set up a triage, a process for sorting injured people into groups based on their needs for immediate medical treatment.
The regulatory body also called for personal protective equipment (PPEs) to be available at the triage area for healthcare professionals and called for all ambulances to have basic medical equipment and licensed healthcare professionals.
All healthcare facilities, the LMDC added, must adhere to the MOH/LMDC referral and IPC protocols and hand washing equipment should be available at entrances and service areas.
Meanwhile, the LMDC has announced the commencement of clinical inspection of all health facilities across the country to ensure its mandates are adhered to.
It vowed to institute punitive measures for violators of these mandates if necessary.
The LMDC’s mandate comes in the wake of reports from the 14 Military Hospital, which is being used as a quarantine center for the infected and high-risk individuals, lacks medication and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
The warning also comes at the time health authorities have reported three cases of COVID-19 in Liberia.
The government also invoke the Public Health Law of Liberia, designating Montserrado and Margibi Counties as infected areas and instituted several measures largely aimed at limiting crowding in the two counties beginning “effective immediately.”