St Lucia, West Indies – An Interactive Symposium attend by 120 health care professionals and representatives of disability organisations was organised by the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association and the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists and held on the 11th August 2010. Pharmacists, doctors, nurses and disability organisations identified ways in which by working together they can raise awareness and meet the needs of those living with disabilities.
Speakers set out the challenges of persons with disabilities and identified problems encountered in pharmacies and other healthcare places and emphasised that persons with disabilities needed to be treated as “Equals” by all healthcare professionals and actively encouraged all countries within the Caribbean who had not as yet signed up to the UN Convention on “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities” to do so and to agree to a Protocol for its implementation.
“Pharmacists were in a unique position to take a proactive role in meeting the needs of the disabled by undertaking an audit of accessibility to their premises and working with the Ministries of Health and disability organisations on the development of training programmes for pharmacists and other health professionals on how to deal with persons with disabilities. Pharmacists were also in a position to raise awareness amongst the public by promoting and supporting International Disability Day on 3rd December by running campaigns in collaboration with local disability groups on the challenges those with disabilities encounter” said Roger Odd Hon. Secretary of CPA.
The outcome of the Interactive Symposium was a Communiqué which outlined how pharmacists and other health professionals can promote a better understanding of the issues encountered by those with disability and on the rights of those persons to lead a full and integrated life within their communities.
The presentation on Jamaica’s health sector response to support Persons with Disabilities by A. Michele Morgan Evans, Acting Director, Standards Research & Development Department, Standards & Regulation Division, Ministry of Health, Jamaica
Evaluation and report of the symposium
“The respondents’ assessment of the interactive sessions was very positive with over 90% finding the professional sessions professionally rewarding or very rewarding and all but a few respondents returning data on this question. The respondent’s assessment of the outcomes was also very positive with the vast majority (over 90%) believing the issues reported back to the plenary session reflected the views and opinions of the majority of pharmacists and health professionals in the Caribbean, and that as individuals they should take a proactive role in the supporting persons with disabilities who visited their workplaces.” – excerpt from evaluation and report
See the full report below:
Issued by: Betty Falconbridge
On behalf of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association
Date 1 September 2010
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Note to editors:
- The Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) is a non-government organisation representing professional pharmaceutical societies from over 40 Commonwealth countries.
- The Caribbean Association of Pharmacists (CAP) aims to Advance the development and empowerment of the people of the Caribbean through excellence in the provision of all aspects of pharmacy practice.