President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) and the College of Pharmacists to create more avenues for the advanced training of pharmacists to make the country the pharmaceutical hub in Africa.
He said the sector had enormous potential which, when harnessed, could inure to the benefit of the country in diverse ways, including economic growth.
“With the right environment, we can attract many research-based pharmaceutical companies around the world which are looking to establish plants in Africa.
“These will help create employment, deepen our research skills and capabilities as a people and change the nature of our economy,” President Akufo-Addo added.
This was contained in a speech read on behalf of the President by the Northern Regional Minister, Alhassan Shani Shaibu, at the 2022 annual general meeting (AGM) of the PSGH in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital, yesterday.
The week-long meeting is on the theme: “Optimising the pharmaceutical workforce in a rapidly evolving world”.
The President expressed the government’s commitment to work with relevant stakeholders to support local pharmaceutical companies to produce medicines that met international standards.
“When we do this, I expect our companies to produce at least 60 per cent of our medicinal needs locally and some for export to the ECOWAS region,” he said.
The President further said for the nation to achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, there was the need for access to quality essential healthcare services, safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
The President of the PSGH, Samuel Kow Donkoh, said the meeting provided a platform for members to have a holistic review of their performance, take stock of activities for the past year and discuss matters that would strengthen their role as experts in medicine for quality health care.
“Our community pharmacists can easily serve at vital points for vaccination campaigns and other public health mass campaigns, as they are already known and trusted in the communities,” he said.
Mr Donkoh, therefore, urged the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to engage the PSGH to explore ways to fully harness the potential of pharmacists in the growth of the country’s health delivery system.
The Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC, Mansa Nettey, said it was important for pharmacists to leverage the rapidly evolving global landscape to meet the challenges of the changing times.
She said the changes were driven by societal needs and expectations, regulatory standards and regional, national and international policies, “so the actions we take now will prove critical for the kind of pharmaceutical industry we create for ourselves and the next generation”.
The Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II, in a speech read on his behalf, commended the PSGH for the diligence its members exhibited in their service to the people over the years.
He urged them to intensify public education against self-medication, as the practice could cause more health complications.
“The issue of self-medication is a major problem which is on the rise in the country because of increased volumes of medicinal adverts in our media environment, and this requires a concerted effort among relevant stakeholders to address,” the Ya-Na added.
An exhibition has been mounted at the event grounds by some pharmaceutical companies to showcase their products to prospective clients.