#COVID19: Gabon Pharmacists Move Against Order To Ask For Vaccination Cards And PCR Test Results From Patients

The National Syndicate of Gabonese Pharmacists said it found it difficult to demand vaccination cards and negative PCR tests from individuals who are in distress.

Pharmacists in Gabon say they will not obey a government order requiring them to demand for coronavirus vaccination cards and PCR negative test results from customers before granting them access into their pharmacies.

Making the announcement on Saturday, Nov. 27,  the National Syndicate of Gabonese Pharmacists said it found it difficult to demand vaccination cards and negative PCR tests from individuals who are in distress, coming to buy drugs.

The government order stipulates that with effect from Dec. 15, 2021, vaccination cards and negative PCR test results would be mandatory for persons accessing public places.

“Pharmacists whom we are, in connection with the new measures, we have decided to remain an essential service for the populations who are asking questions as to what happens after December 15,” said Dr Sandrine Itou-Y-Maganga, President of the National Syndicate of Gabonese Pharmacists.

“I do not think that as pharmacies we would control who has a PCR test result or a coronavirus vaccination card. We are at the service of the populations.” 

According to the leader of the group, pharmacists have taken the Galien oath which obliges them to never forget their responsibilities towards the sick and their human dignity.

“People do not go to pharmacies just for a stroll,” declared Dr Sandrine adding that “up to now, we have tried to manage the crisis in the best way we can and we are going to continue doing so by receiving patients who come to us.”

She, however, called on the populations to get themselves vaccinated against the COVID-19.

“We are available and we can explain the differences between the different vaccines. We are the intermediaries of the Ministry of Health,” Dr Sandrine said, adding that she could not make a declaration on the sources of the coronavirus vaccines nor their effectiveness.

This, she said, is the domain of the National Vaccination Committee.

“We have always been an essential service and it is not in the face of  the COVID-19 that we are going to disengage ourselves,” she said.

“We have always been there and we will remain available. Let the COVID-19 not kill someone because the person was not taken care of.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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