In delivering the welcoming remarks, Norma Hocheimy, the general manager of Banjul Pharmacy said the opening of the new branch was part of their desire to contribute to efforts in meeting the country’s health care needs. She stated that her company saw it prudent to reach out to other regions of the country as a partner health care provision. She added:
“We are honoured to open our Banjul Pharmacy branch here and to be part of your health providers in fulfilling your needs in the region. We will be of full vital support to all your requirements by the grace of the Almighty, who we pray to, to guide us all in all health issues and may He protect our leader to continue leading us towards a prosperous Gambia. Our motto is ‘to serve you better’ and we will be here to provide you with excellent services”.
Dr Jimmy Olu Coker, president of the Pharmaceutical Society of The Gambia said the pharmaceutical trade has “greatly evolved leading to a new wave of accessibility and affordability of medicine”. He noted that almost 90 percent of medicine available at Banjul Pharmacy is up to standard and imported from Europe, saying: “This is the first time that Banjul Pharmacy is operating outside the Greater Banjul Area and this is to come to the town of Brikama and its surrounding villages. Now you are talking of accessibility, affordability of medicine and providing very good services. Good pharmacy practice is, say in all communities, about working hard and other pharmacies have to be better professionals and dedicated to our profession. I would also like to commend the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for taking the initiative of inspecting because I have travelled to many countries in the Sub-region and I think The Gambia has the best inspectorate unit. Let me also commend the West African Health Organisation (Waho) because they have come up with harmonisation of the practice of pharmacy, the regulation and the training. Now pharmacy training is taking about six years in both Anglophone and Francophone countries which will be ratified very soon by the assembly of health ministers”.
Also speaking at the event, Edward Ekwale, administrator of MFH Group said, Banjul Pharmacy has enjoyed tremendous patronage which saw it develop from an obscure drug store into a leading pharmaceutical outfit in the country since its inception in 1974. He noted that although the new branch is the first to be operating outside the Greater Banjul Area, it will serve as a springboard to extend the provision of healthcare services to other parts of the country.
Concluding, he said: “Backed by a very knowleadgeable and determined management team, Banjul Pharmacy has become a reference point and indeed the benchmark for pharmaceutical services in The Gambia today. The name is synonymous with quality and affordable health care known to almost every home across the country as it continues to lead the way in the pharmaceutical sector.”]]>