100 pharmacists undergo COVID-19 vaccination training nationwide

At least 100 pharmacists are undergoing training in various parts of the country to augment Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccination drive.

The pharmacists, upon completion of the training, would form part of outreach teams as well as be able to independently administer the COVID-19 vaccines as part of measures to boost accessibility and improve the country’s vaccination status at large.

The Rector of the Ghana College of Pharmacists, Mrs Yvonne Yirenkyiwaa Esseku, disclosed this at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference of the College in Accra yesterday.

The meeting, coincided with the 10th anniversary of the College, saw the admission of seven new members into the pharmacy practice.

The two-day meeting was on the theme: “Improving access to quality healthcare services through specialist pharmacist training.”

Mrs Esseku, who reiterated the role of pharmacists as one of the most accessible cadre of health professionals, called for more collaborations in other areas to advance healthcare delivery in Ghana.

“The Ghana Health Service, recognising the role pharmacists could play in the vaccination both with COVID-19 vaccines and other life course vaccines, has collaborated with us to train more pharmacist vaccinations and this is a step in the right direction to provide care to our people,” she said.

The Rector further assured that in line with it’s mandate guaranteed by the Specialist Health Training and Plant Medicine Research Act, Act 833 (2011), the College would continue to offer specialised training to members to equip them with the needed skills to manage emerging health problems.

“Health is dynamic and we must ensure that we are aware of new techniques and innovations in the pharmaceutical practice to improve general health and well-being of citizens,” she stated.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, underscored the need for specialised skills in pharmacy to meet changing health demands.

“The medicines that are used in the management of diseases have to be quality and be able to provide the needed results so the prescriber must also have updated information on the medicines being prescribed.

Although every pharmacist has basic training to provide support and offer some pharmaceutical services, a specialist pharmacist has more professional and practical exposure and is able to guide both prescribers and users on how best to use medications,” he said.

Mr Agyeman-Manu urged new members and fellows of the College to rise to the occasion and put their expertise to bare to help Ghana achieve it’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) targets.

In a keynote address, a Health Policy Analyst and Director at the Ministry of Health, Dr (Mrs) Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, said Ghana could be on it’s way to ensuring that quality healthcare was highly accessible if attention was paid to training more specialists pharmacists.

She challenged the College to leverage on its endowment fund to support such training initiatives as it strengthens collaborations and partnership to advance the practice in Ghana.

“Specialist training of pharmacists should be seen as a strategic path towards achieving UHC, especially through primary healthcare interventions because society is better served with this level of knowledge, expertise and skills set,” she said.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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