The West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists has during its 31st Annual General Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Freetown, graduated new fellows of the institution.
The graduation of 118 new fellows at the Freetown International Conference Centre brought the number to 1,500 since the college admitted its first batch by examination in February, 1997.
Even though many were absent for the induction ceremony, those who were present took oath to continue providing the much needed service to people of the various countries.
President of the college, Professor Emeritus Sir Kwame Sarpong, congratulated the newly graduated fellows and urged them to go to the field and demonstrate the knowledge and professional prowess they have acquired.
He stated that since it official inauguration in February, 1991, the college has succeeded in facilitating the establishment of the School of Pharmacy at the Universities of Liberia and Sierra Leone, respectively, and harmonised drug laws and regulations in member countries.
In light of the challenging needs of pharmaceutical care in recent times, Professor Sarpong said the scope of the college's fellowship programme has been widened, citing the introduction of primary level of the programme with first examination conducted in November/December 2017.
He added that additional study centres have been created in Accra, Ghana, Monrovia, Liberia, Nigeria and Freetown, Sierra Leone to bring the fellowship programme closer to pharmacists in member countries.
"The college's chapters are also striving to make the impact felt in all member countries. This is demonstrated by the creation of zonal offices to facilitate grass-root participation of fellows in the college's affairs and encourage pharmaceutical outreach to the populace in those zones," he said.
Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, commended the college and the University of Benin for ongoing efforts to strengthen pharmacy manpower development through the training and award of fellowships and the PharmD Program respectively.
He congratulated the new fellows of the college and urged them to put into practice what they have acquired.