2024 Pharmacists’ Induction: Acting Registrar Calls for Bridging Urban-Rural Health Gaps to Achieve SDG Three, Welcomes 364 New Pharmacists

Dr. Daniel Amaning Danquah, the Acting Registrar of the Council, emphasized the importance of bridging the gap between urban and rural areas in the distribution of health professionals to advance the country’s progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Three – Health and Wellbeing.

Speaking at the induction ceremony in Accra last Wednesday, themed “Universal health coverage: Embracing the digital frontiers to leverage access to quality healthcare,” Dr. Danquah highlighted the need for equitable distribution of health professionals to ensure progress.

The ceremony saw the induction of 364 new pharmacists: 283 from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), 36 from the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), 18 from Central University, 10 from the University of Ghana, and 17 from the diaspora.

Ceremony Highlights

The event was graced by notable figures including the Chairperson of the Pharmacy Council, Doris Fosu-Hemaa Addae-Afoakwa; the CEO of Rock Chemists Ltd, Thomas Boateng Appiagyei; and the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Dr. Samuel Kow Donkoh.

Dr. Danquah urged the new pharmacists to focus on self-development and capacity-building to stay relevant in their profession. He stressed the importance of recognizing potential risks and adverse effects associated with medications and interventions to improve patient outcomes.

He also reminded the inductees to adhere strictly to regulations and best practices guiding pharmacy practice in the country. He warned that the council would enforce practice standards rigorously to promote patient safety and outcomes.

Commitment to Improvement

Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Kwasi Acquah, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to improving the pharmacist-to-population ratio to meet World Health Organization (WHO) standards of one pharmacist per 2,000 people. The ratio has improved from one pharmacist per 13,000 people in 2015 to one per 7,500 currently. He added that the government is constructing 111 hospitals nationwide, which will employ more pharmacists and further improve the ratio.

Maintaining Standards

Thomas Boateng Appiagyei emphasized that the increase in pharmacy training institutions should not lead to a decline in standards. He urged practitioners to adhere strictly to industry regulations.

Doris Fosu-Hemaa Addae-Afoakwa encouraged the new pharmacists to incorporate modern digital technologies into their practice to enhance service delivery. She stressed that leveraging digitization is crucial in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs, especially in an era where technology is transforming service delivery across sectors.

Click the link below to find excerpts from the event.


Photo credit: K2SHOTIT


The White Coat Ceremony is a tradition that has been adopted by many schools and colleges of Pharmacy as a way to recognize and celebrate the transition of students into the clinical years of their program. It is an important rite of passage, as it signifies the beginning of the professionalization process and serves as a reminder of the responsibility, professionalism, and commitment that are expected of Pharmacists.

Central University recently held its Maiden White Coat Ceremony for Level 500 Pharmacy students. The ceremony was held in the presence of the Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor, preceptors, parents, and invited special guests. A total of 124 Level 500 students were adorned in a beautiful white pharmaceutical gown in 15 batches of 8 students, with each being gowned by a Pharmacist Preceptor or Mentor.

The Dean of School of Pharmacy, Central University, Professor Kwasi Adomako Ohemeng welcomed all participants, giving a history of the Doctor of Pharmacy program and how far it had come. He mentioned that Central University’s School of Pharmacy has some of the best laboratories in the country, with equipment such as High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and manual capsule fillers, which help in the professional training of pharmacy students.

The ceremony was also graced by a keynote speaker, Dr. Florence Amah Nkansah, who spoke on the theme “Excellence in Scientific Knowledge, Skills, And Professionalism in Pharmacy Practice in The 21st Century.”
The Vice Chancellor of Central University, Professor Bill Buenar Puplampu, admonished the celebrants on the fact that there is no room for errors in the pharmacy profession, as any mistakes could be costly given the importance of their work in caring for the health and well-being of patients. He urged the students to keep striving for excellence and to make the institution proud.

To acknowledge the excellent performances of the students so far, Silvia Amoah, Bawa Nafiu Issah, and Benedict Stanley were awarded as the top students of the Doctor of Pharmacy class of 2024. Each student of the class as well received a generous donation of BNFs from the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) as presented by the Executive Secretary of the Society, Rev. Dr. Denis Sena Awitty.

Overall, the White Coat Ceremony at Central University was a meaningful and significant event, marking the transition of students into the clinical years of their pharmacy program and emphasizing the importance of professionalism and excellence in the field. It was a proud moment for the students, their families, and the entire pharmacy community, and it served as a reminder of the important role that Pharmacists play in the healthcare system.

30% of palm oil on Ghanaian markets fail FDA’s Sudan dye test 

About 30% of palm oils found on the Ghanaian Market have failed the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA)’s nationwide Zero Sudan IV dye test, an increase from 7.3% in 2018.

This came to the fore as part of the Authority’s routine market surveillance activities on food safety conducted last year.

In October last year, the Authority sampled palm oils from major markets across the country including 10 major markets in Greater Accra to test for the presence of Sudan IV dye leading to several arrests.

The Laboratory analysis indicated that out of the 306 samples analysed, 70 representing failed the test for Sudan IV dye.

Except for the Upper West Region, all the regions had one or more samples from their markets testing positive for the presence of Sudan IV dye with Greater Accra recording the highest of failure rate (60.8%).

Some markets like Dome and the Mallam Attah Market in the Greater Accra Region had 100% failure for their samples analysed.

Sudan IV dye is a chemical used for in the production of textiles, leather, plastics, papers, hair, mineral oils, waxes, and cosmetics and not to be ingested.

The toxicity and illegal use of Sudan IV as food additives are strongly banned by the Food and Drugs Authority and other international bodies in the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius.

Despite the enormous public education and sensitization activities on the health implications of adding Sudan IV dye in foods especially palm oils, such as hyperactivity in children, severe allergies, hives, migraine, and diseases such as cancer, producers and Ghanaian traders continue to use this chemical as an enhancer in palm oil due to consumers preference and demand for “redness” in their palm oil products.

The FDA has initiated a rigorous public education campaign in major markets like Mallam Atta Market, Dome Market in Accra as well as other Satellite Markets across the country.

As part of this campaign, more samples are continuously being sampled across the markets and traders whose palm oil products fail the test will be made to face the full rigours of the law.

Additionally, the FDA is in the process of introducing a traceability system for AgroProducts in the country which would help in enhancing food safety issues as far as Agroproducts are concerned and safeguard the health and safety of the consuming public.