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  • News & Press: Press

    MoH Launches New Standard Treatment Guidelines

    Thursday, October 05, 2017   (0 Comments)
    Posted by: Frank KUMI, Editor
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    The Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday in Accra launched the 7th edition of the Ghana Standards Treatment Guidelines (STG) and the Essential Medicines List (EML), almost a decade since the older versions were published.

    In launching the new publications, the chairman for the occasion, Mr Hamidu Adakuruku Esq., Ag. Chief Director of the MoH, noted that medicines and health technology were of very strategic importance towards achieving universal health coverage. According to him, antimicrobial resistance, which is gradually becoming a threat to humanity’s existence underscored the need for Standard Treatment Guidelines. He expressed optimism that healthcare practitioners would find the latest edition of the STG a useful tool in making rational therapeutic choices to help curb the spate of abuse of antibiotics and other medicines in the country.

    Prof. Francis W. Ofei, who chaired STG Expert Committee, gave an overview of the processes which led to the development of the final publication of the country’s widely used treatment guidance. He said the panel consisted of 40 members, 6 additional co-opted members of all whom, according to him, declared their interest to avoid conflicting interests. He said the new edition is a tremendous improvement of the older version which was published in 2010. He indicated that the total list of medicines of 114 contained in the older edition has been increased to 157 along with newer formulations to cater for the therapeutic needs of patients.

    To keep pace with the rapid changing of disease patterns as well as emerging evidence in the field of pharmacotherapy, he recommended for the institution of two committees (a Standing Executive Committee and a Technical Committee) to review the STG at least four (4) times in a year. He also mentioned that the new STG came along with a mobile application platform with hope of enhancing easy accessibility and convenience in usage.

    Pharm. Mrs. Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, MoH, and Chief Pharmacist, Ghana Health Service, revealed that Ghana’s success of occasionally publishing the STG and EML went years back. She admitted the sporadic nature of the publications, which runs counter to current policy statements that requires biennial publications of the STG and the EML. She however attributed this to inadequate funding. She opined that the new edition would provide value and efficiency and help to monitor care provided to patients in addition to improving inefficiencies in procurement practices, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) reimbursement mechanisms, and tax exemptions for essential medicines. She was of the view that beyond all these benefits, the publications were going to serve as a critical guiding tool which would serve important information for medicine donations since medicines that were outside the list were not going to be accepted as donations from organizations. She commended the expert panel and all committees involved in publishing the documents.

    The Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang Manu, who was also present at the launching ceremony, whilst seeking the help of pharmacists in curbing irresponsible use of medicines in the country, remarked that pharmacists had a significant role to play in promoting adherence to the STG. He said pharmacists were adequately positioned to promote global best medication usage practices. He hinted of the MoH resolve to follow this publication with a release of prescribing and dispensing guidelines.

    The STG and EML are publications of the MoH which are supposed to be reviewed every two years in accordance with the second edition of the Ghana National Drugs Programme (2004). However, the publications of these documents dates back to 1988 in an effort to improve evidence-based practices in the health sector. The processes which led to the release of the latest edition started over four years ago. 

    Download the new STG

    Download the new EML