The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has for the first time graduated 142 Doctors of Pharmacy Students after changing the focus of the training programme.
Training of Pharmacy students (the PharmD programmed) at the KNUST changed from a medicine-centred to a patient-centred, to suit the social and cultural environment .
It is in tandem with international pharmacy practice to improve competence in response to the changing societal needs.
Provost of the College of Health Science, Prof Yaw Adu-Sarkodie, says it became necessary to replace the Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) with the PharmD programme considering the global trends in contemporary pharmacy education and practice.
“There was the absolute necessity to keep Ghanaian-trained pharmacists abreast with international trends and make them marketable internationally; in addition to being equipped with the requisite competencies and skills to provide total pharmaceutical care to enhance the quality of life of our patients,” he said.
President of the Council, Benjamin Kwame Botwe, said the move will ensure patients' drug therapy is appropriately done with the safest medications.
“For pharmacists to play these roles effectively and to adequately deliver this new patient-centered pharmaceutical care, there was the urgent need to acquire new knowledge and develop competencies and skills required for this new role,” he said.
The Doctor of Pharmacy programme which equips trainees with pharmaceutical care competencies, incorporates new concepts that are transformational and represent growth in the pharmacy profession.
It is a 6-year competency-based programme made up of an initial 4 years of rigorous academic and professional training where emphasis is laid on the basic, biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences.
This is followed by 2 years of clinical and professional training with more time devoted to experiential training at training sites and the entire 6th year (final year) of the programme spent off campus at rotational teaching sites.
The programme is in complete response to the emerging changes in pharmacy education and practice globally, coupled with the advice and support of the Pharmacy Council of Ghana and the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to enhance the clinical training of pharmacists as well as harmonise the training of pharmacists within the West African region.
In the same vein, the Faculty has also commenced the upgrading of the Bachelor of Pharmacy for practicing pharmacists with a Top-Up programme to bring them at par with current international standards.