1st April 2019.
On behalf of the Standing Executive Committee (SEC), the Governing Board (GB) and the National Secretariat of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), I welcome you to the second quarter of 2019.
The first quarter of the year started at a frenetic pace for all players in the healthcare field, and it is my expectation that the second quarter will be an even more productive period for the pharma space both in Ghana and abroad. I wish to share with you some of the successes the PSGH has chalked in the past month. As you may be well aware, the start of this quarter also marks the start of the last half year of my administration’s tenure as the SEC of the PSGH. I wish to share with you the milestones we aspire to reach before the expiration of my first term.
The month of April is also the time when Christians the world over will mark the crucifixion of Christ. I wish to take this opportunity to wish all and sundry a Happy Easter in advance.
Pharmacy Center Project
My team and I have stayed committed to the desire of many a Ghanaian Pharmacist to see to the recommencement and completion of the Pharmacy Center Project. However, it is important to bring to your attention that after the foundation of the Pharmacy Center was laid some decade ago, the property has laid fallow for too long. It was imperative to call on building professionals on the best way forward. A structural engineering firm was engaged to conduct extensive structural integrity tests on the existing structure. Furthermore, it was the considered opinion of the Project Committee to revise the capacity of the Pharmacy Center from 1600-seater to 3200-seater which is about double the initial figure. The firm was therefore tasked to advice on the suitable options available to the Society. A report has been submitted to the PSGH upon completion of the firm’s work.
After further engagements and discussions on the structural integrity report, it has been noted that the consultants based their drawings on the need to significantly reinforce it in order to continue with the project which was revised to increase the capacity from 1,600 to 3,200.
After careful deliberations with SEC, GB and the Project Committee, it has been decided that a second opinion is needed before a final decision can be taken. The Project Committee has engaged the services of another consultant who is expected to communicate his findings and recommendations in the coming weeks. I urge all of us to continue to engage with leadership and provide meaningful feedback to leadership so that together, we can all be proud of the final edifice that will be the home to all Pharmacists.
Community Pharmacy Research
Dr. Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah, a health economist of the University of Ghana Business School has been engaged by the PSGH for collaboration in the area of Community Pharmacy Research. Dr. Abekah-Nkrumah, with the assistance of one of our colleague pharmacists pursuing post graduate studies at the University of Ghana Business School, have recently conducted a pilot research on the use of the community Pharmacy as the first point of call for patients seeking healthcare. The study focused on trends in the use of community pharmacies and factors that influence their use as the first point (port) of call.
Over the years, there have been many allusions made about the role of the community pharmacy in healthcare delivery. Sadly, most these allusions are made without much data or evidential support. By engaging with leading academics, it is my expectation that we will obtain the needed evidence that can guide and shape policy. I urge all community pharmacists to support such research exercises when data collectors visit your facilities.
Preparations towards 2019 Conference in Accra
It is an indisputable truth that 2018 AGM was executed with great style. I commend the Planning Committee, led by Pharm. Kwabena Offei Asante Esq., in setting such high standards in how our conferences are held. This year’s conference – which will be held in Accra – promises to build on the successes of last year’s. The Planning Committee has already started its work, and I encourage our young and old Pharmacists to volunteer some of their time and resources in assisting the Planning Committee to execute another five-star conference.
Scientific Conference on Pharma Issues
You will remember from my earlier message to you in February that as part of the public engagement strategy for the Society, SEC is aggressively pursuing the organization of a scientific conference on the theme: Ghana As A Pharmaceutical Hub, the Way forward for National Development.
The scientific symposium will seek to bring together stakeholders in the pharma-space for in-depth interrogation of the status quo and work towards developing an actionable blueprint that will advance the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The symposium is scheduled to take place from 23rd to 24th of April, at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Auditorium in Accra, This is being supported by Colorcon and being done in collaboration with PMAG, University of Ghana School of Pharmacy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade and Industry, National Development Planning Commission and Ministry of Planning. It is my desire that you will make space in your calendar to join in setting this agenda.
Ashanti Regional office becomes vacant
The Ashanti Regional Manager of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Mrs. Abena Afriyie Henkel has resigned from her post effective 31st March, 2019. Abena has been the manager of the Society office in Ashanti Region for the past decade. She has been responsible for the maintenance of an up-to-date register of pharmacists in the Ashanti Region. She also carries out all other administrative duties of the Society in the region. Indeed, Abena could always be found at the Information and Complaints desk at all Annual General Meetings/Conferences.
We wish her well in her future endeavours. A new Ashanti Regional Manager will be appointed in the coming weeks.
Strategic Plan activity for 2019
As I indicated in my earlier message, the SEC at its last meeting reviewed the 2019 strategic plan priorities and objectives and has given approval for the team to carry out the activities. Despite the late start of implementation, we at the SEC level hope to implement the following objectives for the year 2019; Ensuring Effective Regulation through collaboration, Driving the Local Pharmaceutical Manufacturing agenda, Providing Specialization in various practice disciplines, Providing Strategic leadership and career development for pharmacists, Sourcing funds for projects and programs, Reviewing and engaging on the model pharmacy concept, Roll-out of PSGH fund, Celebrating WHD's with key stakeholders, Promoting Pharmacy as a brand, Strengthening regional branches and practice groups of the PSGH.
Key activities to be carried out towards the achievement of these objectives can be obtained from the national secretariat and from the PSGH website to enable us all track the progress of implementation. The various practices groups have been mandated to also work on their various specific objectives to ensure we achieve our collective goals. I am very optimistic that, we will all commit resourced and energy to ensure that we arrive at the destination where Pharmacy takes back its past glory.
Management Science for Health – Pharmacy Council – PSGH collaboration
As part of our strategic objectives to contribute to solving the access to medicines problems, the PSGH in collaboration with the Pharmacy Council and MSH embarked on a project to identify access gaps in the provision of pharmaceutical services in 6 deprived districts in the upper west region of Ghana. Colleagues, the findings of the exercise are pointing to a very gloomy picture of our lack of presence in these communities. In the course of the month, we will be working with the Pharmacy Council to hold a stakeholders meeting to discuss the findings of the project. It is my hope that all of us will come together to dispassionately discuss the kind of services we would like our clients to have especially in some of the most deprived districts and communities in Ghana.
I want to take this opportunity to once again wish all of us a Happy Easter in advance and to thank you all for your support and cooperation so far.
God bless you all.
Pharm. Benjamin Kwame Botwe,