First batch of pharmacists from the University of Ghana (UG) Legon, School of Pharmacy excelled in their professional qualifying examinations with one of them emerging the overall best student in Ghana.
The 31 students from UG- were among 205 newly registered pharmacists inducted by the Pharmacy Council of Ghana.
Miss Josephine Ataa Hinneh, from the University, won both the John Ocran Award for being the overall best candidate and also the Pharmacy Practice Award in the 2013 Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination.
She received certificates and a cash prize for each award.
The John Ocran Award was instituted by the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP), in recognition of the immense contribution of John Ocran to the development of pharmacy.
The University Of Ghana School of Pharmacy (UGSOP), the newest constituent of to the University’s College of Health Sciences, was established in November 2007.
Academic work commenced in August 2008, with the enrolment of the first batch of 34 students, out of which 31 were inducted as pharmacists on July 1. Current total enrolment of students stands at 152.
The School currently offers courses in five disciplines, namely: pharmaceutics and microbiology; pharmacology and toxicology; pharmaceutical chemistry; pharmacognosy and herbal medicine; and pharmacy practice and clinical pharmacy.
Miss Hinneh called on the Health Minister to regularise the employment of pharmacists ready to serve in the health sector.
The ceremony on the theme: “Advancing pharmaceutical care in contemporary Ghana,” saw inductees from the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Central University College and inductees from the Diaspora.
Professor A.C. Sackeyfio, Founding Dean and Professor of Pharmacology at the School of Pharmacy, UG, congratulated the newly inducted registered pharmacists for their hard work and splendid achievement.
He advised them to count themselves as the flag bearers of a noble human mission by providing pharmaceutical care to patients, which requires exceptional dedication and commitment.
He told the newly inducted pharmacists that inadequate resources, negative social attitudes and practices, inadequate quality material, lack of funding, logistics and administrative planning in both public and private sectors are some of the challenges are likely to encounter.
“The requisite training is provided to newly registered pharmacists to enable them to perform their task confidently and efficiently in order not to be affected by the challenges emerged to retard development in pharmacy care.
“Once this investment is made in a big way, pharmaceutical products can be manufactured in the domestic pharmaceutical industry”, he added.
He said according to the Ghana Health Service, only 30 per cent of the national requirements of pharmaceuticals products were produced in Ghana while the remaining 70 per cent were imported, which comes with a high price in terms of quality and quantity that cannot be guaranteed.
“It will be more prudent to train our young scientists such as these inductees for the local pharmaceutical industry including job creation for the youth, development of local raw materials for medicine production and reduction of influx of counterfeit medicine to Ghana,” he stated. GNA