On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana’s (PSGH) Central Regional Branch convened their highly anticipated 3rd Quarter meeting. The event took place at the esteemed Samritt Hotel Conference Room in Cape Coast, and it was graced by the presence of the PSGH President, Pharm. Dr. Samuel Kow Donkoh, who was the Special Guest of Honour. Accompanying him was the PSGH Executive Secretary, adding an air of importance to the gathering. Also in attendance were other distinguished figures, including Pharm. Reginald Sekyi-Brown, the Chairman of the Early Career Pharmaceutical Group (ECPG), and Pharm. Prof. Mrs. Mariam El Boakye-Gyasi, the Vice Chairperson of the Lady Pharmacists Association of Ghana (LAPAG).
The event saw the participation of 42 out of the 80 pharmacists practicing within the Central Region. It served as a platform for members to reflect upon and present their findings from the last meeting, which took place in September. Additionally, they showcased the week-long activities organized to celebrate the 2023 World Pharmacists Day. One notable highlight from the meeting was the establishment of various committees dedicated to preparing for the upcoming commemoration of the World Diabetes Day and the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW).
The PSGH Central Regional Branch expressed their deep appreciation to the President and the Governing Board for choosing the Central Region to host the 2025 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference. They shared that they had already informed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and were in the process of assembling committees to kickstart the preparations for this momentous event.
The Executive Secretary provided an insightful update on the activities taking place at the Secretariat following the AGM. This included progress towards achieving a unified PSGH, the initiation of a compulsory GLICO Life Insurance Policy for members, the formation of committees, plans for the second cohort for capacity building in small-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing, and updates on the pharmacy center project.
The President of PSGH, Pharm. Dr. Samuel Kow Donkoh, delivered further updates and shed light on a range of important issues, with a special emphasis on effective regulation within the pharmacy profession. He stressed that the 400-meter rule, which regulates the establishment of pharmacies, was still in effect. He urged members not to tolerate situations where members from other regions oversee pharmacies in the Central Region in absentia, as this could potentially lead to unemployment for new pharmacists. In response to these concerns, the Regional Manager of the Pharmacy Council pledged to work closely with the regional branch to ensure effective regulation and compliance.
Addressing another pressing issue, the President touched upon the matter of financial clearance for Pharm D House Officers. He assured the attendees that he was pursuing a three-pronged approach to help resolve this issue. He vowed to ensure a favorable decision from the Governing Board of the Pharmacy Council, which would enable the transition of these professionals from the provisional register to the permanent register. Looking ahead to the future, the President expressed high hopes for the 2025 AGM/Conference, as the region now had a two-year window to plan it meticulously. He encouraged members to include observers in the 2024 AGM Committee, allowing them to learn and gain insights into the planning process, thereby minimizing any potential pitfalls in the preparations for 2025.
This all-important meeting was generously sponsored by Cedarpoint Chemist, who provided lunch and a post-meeting cocktail, adding a convivial note to the event.