The Past Four Years
In trying to attain our dreams as a profession, we launched and adopted a 10-year Strategic Plan to focus and guide the activities of the Society. A number of the strategies outlined in the Strategic Plan have been implemented and others are at various stages of implementation. The Strategic Plan is a dynamic document and some issues which have arisen over the period, including COVID, will require leadership to respond and adapt to these changes not envisaged in the Strategic Plan. As a member of the Strategic Planning Team, I have seen the issues which are at various stages of implementation, and I have also noted some issues which will require update.
Over the last four years, the Standing Executive Committee led by President Benjamin Botwe has implemented a number of strategies on behalf of the Society:
1. Ghana as a Pharmaceutical Hub.
PSGH organized an international symposium and brought focus on the capabilities of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Ghana. During the pandemic the awareness created was leveraged upon, bringing the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies opportunities to repurpose production lines and expand their services. There are now talks of vaccine production in Ghana. And, in this regard, the Society has requested government to use its muscle to obtain patent waivers and facilitate contract manufacturing status for these manufacturing companies.
PSGH has visited a number of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies and held discussions with the management of these institutions. These discussions have been focused on how the Society can best support these companies through advocacy as they strive to become GMP compliant and increase their production to meet the pharmaceutical needs of the country and the sub region.
2. Conditions of Service for GHOSPA
PSGH continued to utilize the services of the consultant engaged before 2017 to facilitate discussions on the CoS of GHOSPA. These conditions have now been accepted and are in use for the benefit of all GHOSPA members. As we speak, all allowances due GHOSPA members are paid directly through the Controller and Accountant General as is the case for other healthcare workers employed by government. This emphasizes the need for reassessment and continuation as the case may be to ensure success in our forward march.
3. AREPI membership in IFPMA.
PSGH facilitated the admission of AREPI as a member of IFPMA.
4. Extension of Services.
PSGH has undertaken extensive advocacy on expanding the services provided by pharmacists. Currently an over 80 pharmacists are undergoing training as Pharmacist Vaccinators. We have obtained an approval letter from the Ministry of Health and GHS recognizing the training of Pharmacist Vaccinators and the inclusion of these vaccinators into vaccination teams in all districts across the country.
5. PSGH Fund.
The fund to secure the financial future of pharmacists and other related persons has been established. Every member of the PSGH is a member of the Fund with an initial deposit made on his or her behalf. Each pharmacist needs to activate their membership by completing some forms and making deposits.
6. COVID-19 Response.
The PSGH raised funds and contributed to the national effort. Also, critically needed PPEs were distributed to 8 treatment centers and pharmacists in facilities across the country.
7. Pharmacy Centre Project.
We have held extensive discussions with potential funders for the project. Although COVID-19 dampened enthusiasm among these potential financiers, discussions have resumed in earnest with the aim of getting the project off the ground in the shortest possible time.
8. Model Pharmacy.
Taking concerns of pharmacists on board, the concept has been revised to ensure that PSGH does not come into competition with members. Discussions have been held with potential sponsors of start-ups in areas with little or no access to pharmaceutical services with the view to establish the first facilities in the next several months. This is an opportunity being created for young Pharmacists to establish their own community pharmacies and make pharmacy visible and accessible and to aid advocacy for the separation of services under the NHIS.
9. Endowment Fund for the Ghana College of Pharmacists.
The Endowment Fund has been established and is set to provide support for the College in executing its mandate of training of specialist and consultant Pharmacists to enhance pharmaceutical service delivery in the country.
10. Collaboration with CalBank and UBA.
These collaborations have resulted in some members of the Society getting access to bank facilities at very competitive interest rates to finance various projects.
11. NBSSI COVID Relief Fund.
PSGH facilitated access of some pharmaceutical institutions to the Relief Fund which helped them to restock or otherwise mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on their businesses.
12. PSGH ID Cards.
PSGH ID cards have been printed for all members who have put in the request. This is to ensure the recognition of all members from the public and all other stakeholders.
13. Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS).
The PSGH facilitated the take-off of this international collaboration. The project has now been extended with several facilities and practitioners benefitting from the project.
Stronger ties have been developed with International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the African Pharmaceutical Forum (APF). During the FIP African conference on vaccination, Ghana was the show piece from the West African sub-region. The participation of Ghana in APF has gained greater prominence than before, building from the international conference onto the recognition of Ghana as a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in the sub-region.
15. Collaboration with international pharmaceutical organizations.
PSGH has collaborated with A-Z in the PUMUA initiative resulting in the establishment of nebulizing centers in community pharmacies. We have, together with the Ghana College of Pharmacists, collaborated with Novartis and are in the final stages of establishing a Value Chain Academy.
16. Inauguration of the Young Pharmacists Group.
The YPG of PSGH has been inaugurated to facilitate activities for young pharmacists in the country. The Group is also a focal point for collating and responding to issues that are of particular interest to young pharmacists.
Although I have been actively involved in all of these, I have led and successfully managed or implemented the following:
- Extension of services
- Training of pharmacist vaccinators
- Commonwealth Partnership for Antimicrobial Stewardship
- Endowment Fund for the Ghana College of Pharmacists
- COVID-19 response
- Inauguration of the YPG and support for YPG activities