Speaking at a press conference as part of events marking World Pharmacy Day in Banjul on Thursday under the theme, “Access to Pharmacists is Access to Health,” he stated: “This day was initiated in September 2009 during the International Pharmaceutical Federation meeting in Turkey in official partnership with the World Health Organisation. Pharmacy practice does not take place in a vacuum but in the healthcare environment and aims to improve health. Since 1994, the number of pharmacists trained by the government has tripled. Health is a human right and access to healthcare including essential medicines is a derived right. It is also essential for sustainable economic and social development. The profession has different disciplines such as community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, industrial pharmacy, public health pharmacy, oncology, pharmacy paediatric pharmacy and geriatric pharmacy. It is concerned with the art and science of preparing from natural and synthetic sources to suitable and convenient materials for distribution and used in the treatment and prevention of diseases.
“The Pharmaceutical Society of The Gambia was established in the early 1980s with only three pharmacists. The society has now grown to a healthy number of 18 and has been conducting seminars and workshops for pharmacists in collaboration with West Africa Health Organisation, World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The pharmacy profession has undergone many changes and medicine plays an important role in the welfare of the patient. In terms of pharmacy education, the West Africa Postgraduate College of Pharmacists has contributed a lot to the sector in our sub-region since its inception in Ghana in 1991. It has graduated over 700 fellows by examination since 1997 and facilitated the establishment of the school of pharmacy, universities of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The training of pharmacists is very expensive but the government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has contributed immensely in this area. I want to thank President Jammeh who was the first nominated fellow of the West Africa Postgraduate College for his contribution towards the advancement of pharmacy practice in the country.”]]>