Doris Fosu-Hemaa Addae-Afoakwa (left) Chairperson, Governing Board of Pharmacy Council, inducting the new pharmacists into the profession. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Doris Fosu-Hemaa Addae-Afoakwa (left) Chairperson, Governing Board of Pharmacy Council, inducting the new pharmacists into the profession. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

364 Inducted into Pharmacy Council

The Pharmacy Council of Ghana has inducted 364 newly qualified registered pharmacists, with a call on them to accept postings to deprived parts of the country. 

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The acting Registrar of the Council, Dr Daniel Amaning Danquah, said the best way the country could make progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Three - Health and Wellbeing, was to bridge the gap between the urban and rural areas in the distribution of health professionals.

Dr Danquah made the call at the induction ceremony in Accra last Wednesday on the theme: "Universal health coverage: Embracing the digital frontiers to leverage access to quality healthcare."

They included 283 inductees from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); 36 from the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS); 18 from the Central University; 10 from the University of Ghana and 17 from the diaspora.

Present at the ceremony were the Chairperson of the Pharmacy Council, Doris Fosu-Hemaa Addae-Afoakwa; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rock Chemists Ltd, Thomas Boateng Appiagyei and the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Dr Samuel Kow Donkoh.

Advice

Dr Danquah advised the new pharmacists to prioritise self-development and capacity-building to remain relevant in the profession. He also said in their “pursuit to improve patient outcomes, it is imperative to recognise the potential risks and adverse effects associated with medications and interventions”.

The acting registrar further urged them to ensure their activities do not infringe on the regulations and best practices that guide pharmacy practice in the country. “Keep in mind that the council will enforce practice standards and crack the whip if need be, in order to promote patient outcomes and safety.

“As such, be mindful to work within the confines of the law,” Dr Danquah said, adding that ethical pharmacy practice required the exercise of caution and diligence in the decision-making process to minimise harm to patients and mitigate potential risks to their health.

Commitment

The Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Kwasi Acquah, said the government was working towards bridging the gap between pharmacists and the population to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards of one pharmacist to 2,000 people.

Currently, the pharmacist to population ratio in the country had improved from one to 13,000 in 2015, to one to 7,500. "At the moment, the government is constructing 111 hospitals across the country, and the idea is that when they are completed, more pharmacists will be employed to improve on the existing ratio," he added.

Standards

Mr Appiagyei also said that the growing number of pharmacy training institutions in the country must not lead to lowering of standards. Rather, he said it was a call on practitioners to adhere strictly to industry regulations.    

For her part, Mrs Addae-Afoakwa urged the inductees to imbibe modern digital technologies into their practice to facilitate quality service delivery.

She said in an era where technology and innovation was transforming the face of service delivery across sectors, it was important for pharmacists to strive to leverage digitisation to accelerate achievement of the SDGs.

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