World Bank funds pharmacist-training programme in NE
[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2003, 20:00 GMT]
North East Provincial Ministry of Health launched a project called "External Pharmacist Training Programme (EPTP) 2003-2004" to train eligible
persons from the NorthEast to qualify as pharmacists to prevent unqualified
persons in running the private pharmacies. The project is being implemented
under the North East Emergency Rehabilitation Programme (NEERP), funded by
the World Bank.
The Chief Co-ordinator of the EPTP Mr.E.Pathmaheswaran said the WorldBank has
allocated 2 million rupees to implement the project in the nine health
divisions in the northeast province coming under the provincial ministry of
This is a two-year project under which training will be given to
selected eligible persons in pharmacy on Saturdays and Sundays. After training they will be allowed to sit the external examination for pharmacists conducted by the Sri Lanka Medical Council. The training
programme will be conducted in health divisions of Killinochchi,
Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Mannar, Kalmunai and
Amparai, he said.
The inaugural event of the project was held Friday at the Batticaloa
regional training centre, which is located in the office of the Deputy
Provincial Director of Health Services.
The second training programme is to
be held in Trincomalee at the provincial health ministry auditorium on
The entire population of the nine health divisions in the northeast
province is about 2.6 million and more than three hundred private
pharmacies are functioning. Sixty to seventy percent of these pharmacies
are unlicensed and run by unqualified persons, sources said.
"It is a legal requirement that no license should be issued to any private
pharmacy to function unless it employs a registered qualified pharmacist.
This step has been taken to prevent quacks dispensing wrong drugs to
patients resulting in death and other complications. To safeguard the
community trained pharmacists should be made available to private sector
pharmacies. Hence the launching of the EPTP to enable qualified persons to
sit the external," said a provincial health official.
The implementing agency of the EPTP project is the NorthEast Provincial Health
Ministry, sources said.
Meanwhile, reports from Jaffna district said several vacancies exist for
pharmacists in government rural dispensaries, which are located in
Analaitivu, Pungudutivu, Nainativu, Nedunthivu and Pandatherippu. Retired
pharmacists have been employed in some dispensaries on contract basis. In
some areas minor employees have been asked to dispense drugs to patients,