Gambia hosts WAPCP sub-regional scientific meeting
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Gambia is hosting the 24th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Symposium and 54th Council Meeting of The West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacies (WAPCP).
The AGM and Scientific Symposium, which opened Tuesday at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, has as its theme; ‘Poverty, disease and drugs in regional development’. The five-day convergence brought together delegates from The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone among other West African countries.
Declaring the meeting officially open on behalf of the Gambian leader, Fatim Badjie, the minister of Health and Social Welfare commended the pharmacists for the valuable role they are playing in the health delivery system of the sub-region. She noted that pharmacists globally are recognised as among the most trusted and most accessible healthcare professionals. She said that their expertise and skills mix, make the pharmacists’ contribution to healthcare system invaluable in optimizing therapy and in preventing medication related problems.
Minister Badjie further noted that medication-related
problems are a major source of drain and waste in healthcare institutions
worldwide. She continued: “I have been informed of the situation of
Pharmacy in The Gambia with regard to the huge gap, the current ratio being
1:100, 000 compared with the WHO recommendation of 1:10,000 for a population of
about two million. For this reason, I have sponsored the training of two young
Pharmacists in Ghana who are back in the System and working.”
She implored the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists to provide The Gambia with the necessary support when required, saying that the country will continue to show interest and support the inclusion of the training of pharmacists in the University of The Gambia (UTG). “I am happy that WAPCP is training numerous pharmacists in various pharmaceutical disciplines to ensure that our respective governments pay attention to pharmaceutical care which have definite outcome that improves a patient’s quality of life,” she added.
For his part, Professor Fola Tayo, president of WAPCP disclosed that the institution evolved from the West African Pharmaceutical Federation (WAPF) in 1991, and that the Federation itself was founded in 1976. He also informed the gathering that WAPCP has over the years produced about 700 fellows who are graduate, practising and professional pharmacists that have spent an average offive years in postgraduate study at the college together with practical attachment.
He explained that in the UK and USA, medication-related
problems are a leading cause of premature and preventable deaths and
unnecessary hospital admissions whilst in the United States in particular,
medication-related problems account for more than 16% of hospital admissions
(59% of these admissions could definitely or possibly be avoided). He also
revealed that in 2002 President Jammeh became the first West African president
to be made a Fellow of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists.
For his part, Pharm Jimmy Olu Coker, the president of the
Pharmaceutical Society of The Gambia noted that globally, poverty kills over
24,000 children a day and majority of these cases are found in sub-Saharan
Africa. He said that millions of people are estimated to live in
poverty today adding that it is well known that infectious disease of poverty
attracts less research than in the case of priority health concerns of richer
He also lamented that the new products approved for use in treatment of prevention of these infectious disease of poverty have been disappointing. “We are challenged with increasing drug resistance such as Malaria, Tuberculosis and Hiv and Aids,” he remarked.
Coker then stressed the need to strengthen national quality control laboratories at all levels as well as monitoring of adverse drug relations through Pharmocovigilance.WAPCP also inducted 52 fellows at the ceremony.
Author: Momodou Faal