On Thursday 22nd December 2022, the Ministry of Health launched Guidelines for vaccination against COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases in community Pharmacies. This important milestone climaxes ongoing advocacy efforts of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana to include pharmacists in national vaccination drives.

The PSGH seized the opportunity presented by the COVID-19 to intensify its advocacy efforts. Based on emerging evidence at the time that pharmacy-based vaccine and testing interventions were feasible and effective elsewhere, the president Sam Donkoh-led PSGH presented position papers to the Minister for health to consider the potential for pharmacy-based interventions to increase vaccine and testing uptake.

This culminated in series of meetings with the Minister for health and his team, facilitated by Pharm. Dr. (Mrs) Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, Former Director, Technical Coordination Directorate at the Ministry of Health (https://ghanapharmaceuticaljournal.com/news/0n02/). The PSGH delegation were Vice President Pharm. Kwabena Asante Offei, Executive Member of the SEC and Chair of the professional services committee, Dr. Richmond Adusa-Poku, Deputy Executive Secretary Pharm. Harry Amoaning Okyere, CPPA chair Pharm. Dr. Emmanuel K. Ireland, and CPPA executive member Pharm. Dr. Vera Asante. The PSGH was tasked to work with the Ministry to develop draft guidelines to regularize and streamline the provision of these services. A draft guideline was submitted, which has been reviewed and validated by a technical working group comprising of all stakeholders. PSGH representation on the technical working group include Pharm. Dr. Dennis Sena Awitty, Pharm. Harry Amoaning Okyere, Pharm. Dr. Emmanuel Ireland, Pharm. Dr. Vera Asante and Pharm. Priscilla A. Kwofie.

The GPJ congratulates President Samuel Kow Donkoh and his team for another success story and on such an important deliverable of the PSGH 10-year strategic plan. The GPJ also extends credit to the erstwhile PSGH leadership of President Ben Botwe and Vice President Yvonne Yirenkyiwaa Esseku for their initial roles in this advocacy.

The PSGH will continue to work with the GCPharm to ensure that more pharmacists are trained as vaccinators and are available to provide the service. Pharmacists are encouraged to apply to the GCpharm to be trained as vaccinators.