The SAPC said it was distraught at the looting of pharmacies and the destruction of health-care services and livelihoods.
THE SOUTH African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) said it had received reports from pharmacists and pharmacy associations that more than 90 pharmacies had been destroyed and looted beyond revival in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, with KZNl the hardest hit.
Vincent Tlala, the registrar and chief executive of the SAPC, said the council was distraught at the looting of pharmacies, and the destruction of healthcare services and livelihoods.
He said that among the looted items were Covid-19 vaccines and scheduled medicines, which might be harmful to health when used without proper counselling on storage and dosage.
The council urged those who looted these medicines and health products not to use them or give to other people, but return them to their nearest pharmacy for proper disposal. It also cautioned members of the public to source medicines only from legitimate health-care establishments, such as pharmacies.
“We are worried at the loss of pharmaceutical care that the affected areas will experience as a result of the temporary and, in most cases, prolonged closures of pharmacies, as most of the pharmacies that are affected are independently owned. We are further disappointed at the possible loss of employment and livelihoods for pharmacists and support personnel employed by the affected pharmacies,” Tlala said.
“We call on South Africans to refrain from destructing healthcare infrastructure or disrupting healthcare services for any reason. Such actions reverse the difficult gains we have made in increasing the accessibility of healthcare services to previously underserved communities in our country. It also puts the lives of citizens in these communities at risk,” he said.
– BUSINESS REPORT