The ceremony which took place at the Central Classroom Block Auditorium (CCB) KNUST on Thursday, 12th of October 2017 under the theme; IMPACT OF THE PHARM D PHARMACIST ON PHARMACEUTICAL CARE, saw the ushering of the second batch of students into their clinical year since the inception of the six year Doctor of Pharmacy Program in the 2012/2013 Academic year to replace the traditional Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm)Program previously offered by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST).
In a welcome address delivered at the occasion, The Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor (Mrs) Rita Akosua Dickson thanked Guardians of the Pharm D class present for the ceremony for the confidence entrusted in the Faculty Staff of the University towards the training of their wards to offer quality patient oriented care to cement the status of Pharmacists as friends of the human race. She cautioned the students on the great responsibilities that lies ahead as healthcare Professionals in training. The students were advised to put on the right attitude, and stay committed to the virtues of the pharmacy profession. She also commended the efforts of the White Coat Ceremony Planning Committee, in ensuring the ceremony became a reality.
The Gowning process which involved the dressing of students with Pharm D branded white Coats to usher the students into their clinical rotation year was moderated by the head of the White Coat planning committee, Professor Frances Owusu-Daaku, of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. This saw the Gowning of the Pharm D class of 2013 by members of the Planning Committee, invited guests, and Parents present who are Pharmacists themselves, in successive batches with cheers from Faculty staff, family, friends and loved ones present. The administration of the pledge was held afterwards.
Delivering a Keynote Address in relation to the theme for the occasion, The President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) and Acting Rector of the Ghana College of Pharmacist, Pharm Benjamin Kwame Botwe emphasized the Pharmacy profession began with compounders of medicines called Apothecaries and later became associated with the business of drug distribution with the advent of machines in the industrial revolution.
According to him, a conscious effort was made by Pharmacy leaders globally over the years to review the professional role of Pharmacists with more emphasis on patient-oriented roles as a replacement for product-centered practice. He noted that educational qualification for Pharmacists has since undergone progressive review to meet the requirements of modern healthcare delivery; from Pharmacy Board Certificate of Competence, Diploma in Pharmacy, 3-year Bachelor of Pharmacy, 4-year Bachelor of Pharmacy to the 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy program presently offered by the KNUST which involves a combination of classroom tuition, practical training, and clinical internship/rotation.
Speaking on the expected Impact of the Pharm D Pharmacist in his address, Pharm Benjamin Kwame Botwe encouraged the students present to help achieve the goal of Pharmaceutical care with respect to optimization of patient’s health, prevention of drug-related mortality, reduction of adverse drug reactions, and the achievement of positive clinical outcomes within realistic economic expenditures.
He advised Pharm D Pharmacists to undertake Continous Professional Development (CPD) programs at the Ghana College of Pharmacist after induction into practice, and publish research findings in local and international journals in contribution to the world body of knowledge on Pharmacy and Health.
On the journey so far with the introduction of the Pharm D program, the PRO Vice Chancellor, and the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences KNUST, Rev., Prof., Charles Ansah, was appreciative of the inputs from stakeholders in putting together the program.
According to Him, components like seminars and presentations have been included in the curricular to help build confidence and improve communication skills with other members of the healthcare team. Classroom teaching was combined with community pharmacy training and clinical internship to strengthen the approach to teaching and learning and encourage further studies in academia, among others.
He stressed that the first batch of the program are currently undergoing clinical rotations at various hospitals across the country and also a top-up program for B.Pharm Pharmacists with at least three years working experience has commenced in the 2017/2018 academic year with the first batch inching towards the end of their first semester.
On the way forward, he said the Faculty is looking at increasing the number of adjunct lecturers to assist in practical training of students and also expand academic facilities in readiness for absorption of the pioneers of the government flagship free SHS program in some years to come.
In attendance at the ceremony were stakeholders including representatives from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Pharmacy Council, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), The Chief Pharmacist of the Ministry of Health, Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Provost of College of Health Sciences KNUST, Pharmacy Faculty Staffs, friends and Parents.
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