Pharmacists have been urged to abide by their professional standards to build the public’s trust in them.
According to the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, polls have shown that patients open up to their pharmacists about their health and medical histories more than other categories of healthcare staff.
“Pharmacists should, therefore, strive to maintain high standards of the profession to preserve the trust the public has placed in them”, he added.
Mr Agyeman-Manu was speaking at the launch of the 2021 World Pharmacists Day and public lecture held in Accra on the theme; “Pharmacy: Always Trusted for your Health.”
He said the pharmacy profession is a calling and a pivotal piece of the healthcare structure, adding that aside from being the first port of call in the community, pharmacists were also the last to be seen in the healthcare delivery process.
He said the responsibility, therefore, lies with pharmacists to be diligent in their decisions to ensure the overall safety of the patient.
He entreated members of the profession to also undertake regular professional development so they are abreast with current medical and scientific trends.
Mr Agyeman-Manu further noted that the government is applying global best practices in the training of Pharm D graduates with two batches already graduated assuring that they would be absorbed into the health sector with the right salary entitlement.
President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Pharm. Samuel Kow Donkor said the day offered pharmacists the opportunity to learn from stakeholders with a view of understanding their needs to better serve them.
Pharm. Donkor, speaking on the theme noted that trust forms a fundamental basis in the provision of healthcare and is important in provider-patient interaction and rapport.
He explained that at a time when uncertainty and vaccine hesitancy remained a major hurdle, the long-standing public trust in pharmacy is important.
The President stated that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa to develop vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics manufacturing capacity in addressing public health crises.
He, therefore, expressed excitement at the government’s recognition of the need to develop the capacity to produce vaccines locally, and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign supplies, amidst the shortage of Covid-19 vaccines.
“Hon Minister, you can trust the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana to provide the needed support for this ambitious project to come to fruition”, he added.