The Ghana College of Pharmacists has officially launched its 10th-anniversary celebration at an event that was held on Thursday, January 13, 2022, at the College’s premises.

It was full of pomp and pageantry under the distinguished patronage of the Minister of Health represented by the Deputy Minister for Health, Hon Mahama Asei Seini, CEO of NHIA, CEO of Korlebu Teaching Hospital, CEO of Cape Coast Hospital, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and Rectors of sister colleges.

Speaking at the event, the president of the college, Joseph Nyoagbe, emphasised that the celebration is not much of a festivity but a solemn occasion to pause and look back at this journey to date.

He emphasised: “While we want to recognise and highlight our successes and achievements, it is also a moment to look ahead at the mountains we must still climb and the many rivers to cross!. Our purpose of gathering here is simple. To join and celebrate with us we launch the commencement of our 10` year anniversary.

Recounting the college’s achievement and successes since its inception in 2012, he said, “I want to pay special tribute to the first Governing Council chaired by Mr Kwabena Akurang Ohene-Manu, a distinguished Pharmacist and an Entrepreneur. Professor Emeritus Kwame Sarpong, a renowned academician, pharmacist and a statesman as the first President of the College as elected among Foundation Fellows and Professor Theophilus C. Fleischer, Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences of (KNUST).

The others are Prof Anna Lartey, a Food Scientist; Ms Frederica Salla Illiasu, a representative from Attorney General’s office, Dr (Mrs) Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, then the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, MOH; Mr Joseph Kodjo Nsiah Nyoagbe, then as Registrar of Pharmacy Council: Mr James Ohemeng Kyei of blessed memory, the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) representing PSGH a Representative of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana: and Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, an Industrialist and a Pharmacist.

He added these personalities blazed the trail in uncharted water to lay the sound foundation for the take-off of the College which is arguably the first of its kind globally to be set up by any government. “Recently Sierra-Leone drawing inspiration from us has also followed Ghana’s example,” he said.

In a speech read on behalf of the Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, by the Deputy Minister of Health, Hon Mahama Asei Seini, the minister lauded the innovations and successes chalked by the college which includes the GCP Journal launch and the specialist training. He also indicated that the ministry will consider building ultra-modern infrastructure to aid the college.

According to him, Ghana is moving assiduously towards attaining Universal Health Coverage, “we define UHC as all people in Ghana have timely access to high-quality health services irrespective of the ability to pay at the point of use.”

He, however, added that to have access to high-quality health services, there is the need to have highly trained health professionals.

“That is where the college comes in, you provide specialist training for pharmacists who are then able to use the knowledge and competencies acquired to improve access to high-quality health services, and your training covers every aspect of pharmaceutical service delivery. The specialist you have trained are providing pharmaceutical services in all spheres where there are services,” he said.

The Rector of the College, Yvonne Yirenkyiwaa Eseku, highlighted that, the team has put down yearlong activities for the college’s 10th anniversary: “Each month of the year, you will have at least two interesting programmes to participate in, to sharpen your skills as a scientist, keep abreast with current trends in healthcare, to interact with other professionals and to give back to the society through public engagements.”

She added that “we are introducing the GCPharm Masterclass Series. This series is designed to equip scientists with the relevant skills to communicate and publish their scientific work and research. We have put together faculty from within and outside Ghana who will facilitate the sessions. We will have a session each month starting with the first one on Thursday, January 20, 2022.”

“All the sessions will be interactive with small group sessions to allow for effective participation among all present. Some of the topics we will be tackling include plagiarism, citing and referencing, and using databases effectively. We will also deal with designing and presenting the work impactfully. If you are a scientist and you have any work or research you want to share, join us on 20th January. The registration link is available on our website.”

She added, “to commemorate our 10th anniversary, we will continue to issue statements on some days. But, in addition, we will have sessions where we engage pharmacists, other healthcare workers and the public in general. Our faculties have also lined up various activities to ensure that the specialists and practitioners with interest in the different specializations are not left out during the year-long celebrations.”

The Rector also highlighted that, all faculties are focusing their activities for the year on the theme for celebration: Improving access to quality health services through specialist pharmacist training. 

Additionally, the 10th anniversary will climax all activities in December 2022 with a colourful durbar.

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About Ghana College of Pharmacists 

The West African College of Surgeons, West African College of Physicians and the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons (GCPS) had been operating in Ghana and West Africa for a long time.

Following the establishment of the West African Health Community under the auspices of ECOWAS, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, came together to form the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists. 

After this College had run for about 10 to 15 years, quite several Ghanaian pharmacists had gone for the programme and become Fellows of the College. When the government decided to review the Act establishing the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2010, the opportunity presented itself for the advocacy to establish a Ghana College of Pharmacists to be reactivated.

 Parliament agreed that the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, and the Ghana College of Pharmacists should be established by one law so that all of them could be seen to be on equal footing. The Ghana College of Pharmacists was established by Part Four of the Specialist Health Training and Plant Medicine Research Act, 2011, Act 833. 

The first Council of the College was inaugurated by the then Deputy Minister of Health, Hon. Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo on 20th December 2012.

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