School of Pharmacy Holds 2nd White Coat Ceremony for Pharmacy Students Primary

The University of Ghana School of Pharmacy hosted its second white coat ceremony, themed ‘Embracing Ethical Excellence in Pharmacy Practice’, commemorating the transition of the 2nd batch of its 5th-year Pharmacy students into the Doctor of Pharmacy clinical years.

The Thematic Speaker, Pharm. Kwabena Asante Offei Esq, Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) in his remarks spelt out the importance of ethics in the field of Pharmacy. He provided a demonstration of value chain activities in Pharmacy following the submission of patient prescription to the Pharmacist. He emphasized the importance of trust patients have in the Pharmacists , noting that there is an exchange of trust on the part of the patient and commitment on the part of the Pharmacist. He admonished the need to respect, preserve the trust, demonstrate commitment and deliver excellent service to patients. He urged adherence to ethical conduct in community, hospital and teaching environments.

Pharmacist Offei highlighted the need for Pharmacists to be mindful of their actions, values and choices, noting the subjective nature of ethics across regions, “ethics are subjective across regions, however for harmonious reasons, the code of ethics that governs the work of Pharmacists have been implemented”. He emphasized adherence to the code of ethics governing Pharmacists' work, particularly focusing on client rights, health and confidentiality. While urging Pharmacists to exhibit good citizenship by complying with rules and exposing illegal conduct, he charged them to embrace ethical excellence in their endeavours.

Dr. Paul Donkor, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, celebrated the students' transition from the preclinical to the clinical phases, emphasising the critical nature of this phase for knowledge transfer and exposure to the Pharmacy profession's value chain. He implored them to see to the implementation of the regulations of the Pharmacy Society in the fields they chose. He also urged them to prioritize the wellbeing of patients and not to put attention on money, stating, “your ultimate responsibility is to safeguard the public and improve livelihood of clients”. He encouraged all students to enroll in the Society’s Mentorship programme.

The President of the University of Ghana Pharmacy Students Association, Mr. Godwin Gakpo praised students for their resilience amid challenges in navigating interim assessments and examinations. He expressed gratitude to the Lecturers for their support. “We appreciate the new standards the School of Pharmacy has imparted in us”, he stated. He commended their resilience in the mist of COVID-19 and encouraged all never to compromise on quality.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Gordon Awandare in his remarks expressed utmost gratitude to the Department and commended the enthusiastic students who have been coated. He admonished them to be ambassadors of the University and uphold integrity. He highlighted the need to address capacity challenges in training future health professionals and advocated steps to bridge the gap, while addressing pertinent bottlenecks. He further commended all stakeholders for their presence, partnership and continuous support to the University to train the future health professionals of the country.

Professor Henry Nettey briefed the audience on the history and relevance of the White Coat Ceremony which was shorlty followed by the robbing of lab coats and swearing-in of the students. The white coat ceremony solidified the rite of passage in the journey of students towards a healthcare career.

The ceremony was rounded off with a presentation of plagues and gift hampers to two illustrious former staff of the Department of Pharmacy namely; Drs. Barima Afrane and Samuel Frimpong-Manso for their meritorious service to the School.

Other dignitaries who attended the ceremony were the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Prof. Juius Fobil; CEO of Food and Drugs Authority, Dr. Delese Mimi Darko; the College Secretary, Mr. Michael Opare-Atua; President of PSGH, Mr. Samuel Kwo Donkoh; Rev. Dr. Sena Awity, Executive Secretary of PSGH; Dr. Richard K. Odor, CEO of Top-up Pharmacy; Ms. Patience Tsegah, CEO of Unicom Chemist Ltd; Mr. Stephen Kingsley Odoom; CEO of Stereda Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Dr. (Mrs) Ruby Aileen Mensah Annan, Strategic Health Purchasing Dept. NHI.

The main sponsors of the ceremony included M& G Pharmaceutical, Unicom Chemists, Senes Pharma Company Limited, Top-up Pharmacy and Stereda Pharmacy.