Monrovia - Liberia is hosting the 28th and 29th West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists General Scientific Symposium.
Being held under the theme “Preparedness Towards Epidemic Outbreaks in West Africa,” the meeting seeks to advance the knowledge and skills of practicing pharmacists through post graduate education and training.
The hosting of the meeting in Liberia is unique to the story and experience Liberia has had from Ebola that broke down the health sector and took away many lives.
Liberia is currently in the process of rebuilding a resilient health system that will be more robust in responding to future epidemic outbreak.
Rev. T. T. Tyee, President of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists, disclosed that the Government through the Ministry of Health has developed a national investment plan with nine strategic pillars which coherently compliments one and another as the initial steps to preparing against any health threat in the future.
Of the nine pillars, he said, pillar 3 is very important because it calls for the establishment of a National Public Health Institute and emergency preparedness and response system that would be resilient enough to deal with any form of outbreak.
The meeting brought together pharmacists from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana and Liberia. The organizers have described it as an historic event because it is the first time Liberia had the opportunity to admit fellows into the council of pharmacists.
In the mid-seventies, pharmacists in the West African Region realized the need for them to come together to harmonize and develop pharmacy education, laws and practice in order to improve the quality of healthcare and the life of the people of the region.
This led to the formation of the West African Pharmaceutical Federation (WAPF) in October 1976 in Monrovia, Liberia. Pharmacists that were present at the inaugural meeting were drawn from The Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. However, the francophone countries subsequently withdrew from the Federation. In the process of realizing our vision, there was the need to establish a Postgraduate Professional Training Program leading to award of Fellowship in order to meet the expanding roles of pharmacists worldwide and the changing needs of the society in pharmaceutical care. In 1991, the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP), was established under the educational mandate of WAPF. The College was officially inaugurated in Accra, Ghana in February 1991. The first batch of fellows by examination was admitted into the College in February 1997. On November 2nd, 1999, the Assembly of Health Ministers (AHM) of the then West African Health Community (WAHC) approved the change of name of WAPF to WAPCP. With this, the WAPCP became the official agency representing the pharmacy profession in WAHC, which was subsequently replaced by the West African Health Organization (WAHO).