The Challenges of the Distribution of Medical Drugs from Rivers State Central Medical Store to Rural Health Centres in Rivers State

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Medical drugs are products that are used in treatment of illness, diseases and regulation of human anatomy. They are products of pharmaceutical companies. Their distributors and intermediaries by standard must be pharmacists or pharmaceutical stores. In many countries, governments have taken the responsibility of providing medical drugs and pharmaceutical products to their citizens at a low cost; they also give incentives and drawback of some taxes and duties to medical drugs producing companies, Medical institutes and research centres to assist them in researching into conventional medicine. Mao (2009) has it that government of China supplied 400 kinds of antibiotics in 2004 and ordered all public hospitals to purchase drugs in public biddings to decrease price of drugs. Many charity organizations like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been known for their humanitarian works in providing medical drugs as wells other aids to indigent people in developing countries to assist them in solving their health problems. Ally countries show their friendship, kindness and strengthen their ties with the ally countries by providing drugs, food and shelter to them during famine, war, and other natural problems. United States of America recently supplied freely antiretroviral drugs to Nigeria to assist them in the control of HIV/AIDS in the country.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and some patriotic individuals and churches have also joined the lead by providing medical drugs, educating and informing people on some deadly sicknesses, their treatment and preventions. Politically, medical drugs proved a great significance as politicians during their manifestos promise to equip the hospitals and health centres with medical drugs and facilities. Nwokah, Maclayton and Ezirim (2009) agreed that provision of good health care (provision of medical drugs) is the principal objective of any government. Hence, the reason for her taking the responsibility of ensuring adequate and prompt supply of drugs in all government owned hospitals. Medical drugs and products are important for the health of citizens.

It is obvious that the governments owe their citizens a responsibility of providing medical drugs through health centres and hospitals nearer to them to keep their lives healthy so as to contribute to nation-building. Rural health centres according to John and John (2002) are the culmination of a decade of initiatives and activity by governments, health organizations and communities seeking to address the problem of the rural health. Rural health emerged in the 1990s as an identifiable field of activities focusing on improving the health status and meeting the specific health needs of people living out back of metropolitan areas (John and John 2002). Rural health centres’ objectives are to bring health care closer to the people living outside the city, reduce child and women mortality during child delivery, decongest the urban hospitals-reducing the number of patients that will be attended to by each health workers, making heath care accessible and affordable to rural dwellers through the consistent supply of medical drugs and other medical tools to rural health centres.

1.01 RIVERS STATE CENTRAL MEDICAL STORE

Rivers State central medical store was establishment during colonial period. It is domiciled in Port Harcourt opposite Nigerian Port Authority and behind the rail way terminal to service the eastern zone and other parts of the country. Due to state creation, Rivers State government took over the store and operates it under the regulation and supervision of Rivers State Ministry of health. It is directly supervised by the pharmaceutical service department of state ministry of health. It is not a profit making venture, the store manufactures and also procures medicines from registered drugs manufacturing...
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