Parliament is soon expected to approve the establishment of Ghana College of Pharmacy as a statutory institution to provide post-qualification training for Pharmacists in the country.
The College, to be fully funded by Government, would provide professional post-qualification training in all aspects of pharmacy.
This was announced by Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Minister of Health at the Annual General Meeting of Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), in Accra on Thursday.
It is on the theme: “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s): the Pharmacist in Public Health.” The Sector Minister urged pharmacists to accept the MDG’s since it required strong programmes and the active participation of trained and dedicated front line health professionals, who would provide services and information that would empower clients and patients.
He noted that although in Ghana considerable progress had been made in some of the goals particularly gender equality, reducing child mortality, access to safe drinking water and waste disposal combating HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases, there was the need to work harder on targets concerning maternal mortality, access to reproductive health service and sanitation.
Mr Yieleh Chireh said it was important for pharmacists to consider re-orientation, because as key players in the health team they must be conscious of the changing needs within the health sector.
He said the major challenged of the health sector did not only demonstrate a continuing preponderance of communicable disease, under-nutrition and poor reproductive health, but also included an increasing incidence of the non-communicable disease.
Mr Yieleh Chireh said government was working on providing the tools and equipment to all pharmacies in health facilities as part of the general rehabilitation drive and on improving the regulatory and training environment to enhance service delivery.
He pledged support to all efforts to enhance the practice of the profession to achieve the MDG’s and national development, and urged pharmacists not to lose sight of the real essence of their calling to render services to all and unite for the benefit of patients and the country.
Mr Alex Dodoo, President of the Society, said radio-pharmaceutical delivery included checking the sustainability of medicines, and dosage form for patients, checking prescriptions to ensure that there were no two medicines that might interact, counsel on proper use of medicines and offer advice on expected side effects and how to report them.
He said the Society over the past four years, embarked on education, public health, image, job creation, legislation, regulation and logistic support as some major achievements; however, financial constraints and the lack of unity were some of their major challenges.
Mr Dodoo appealed to Government in the interest of patients and the sustainability of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure that professional service of dispensing and prescribing under the Scheme were undertaken by qualified and registered experts.
He called on the PSGH to continue working with the Pharmacy Council to ensure that when and wherever pharmaceutical services were provided, there would be pharmacists in the community, hospital, clinic or research centres.
Mr Dodoo urged the next administration to build on the achievements of their predecessors, and forge unity among members in order to build a strong formidable society.
Mrs Joyce Addo-Atuah, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy and Health Outcome, Touro College of Pharmacy, New York said the MDG’s place in health was at the centre stage of development and important for all health workers to help achieve them.
She said public health as well as collaborative efforts of all key players was essential in achieving these goals.
Mrs Addo-Atuah however noted that pharmacists could contribute to effective public health when they were motivated on their performance and provided with the basic facilities and access to affordable medicines.
She called on government to support all pharmacists especially the local pharmacists to have easy access to uninterrupted medicines in order to facilitate the process of achieving the MDGs.