The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FPPS) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST),Kumasi has held its 5th White Coat Ceremony for Three Hundred and Twelve (312) students of the 2020 year group.
In his welcome address, the Dean of FPPS, Professor Berko Panyin Anto said that the limited participants for this year’s ceremony was due to the effect of Covid-19 pandemic and its associated protocols which has disrupted the University’s academic calendar and has also led to the reduction of physical presence of participants in some statutory University functions.
Speaking on the importance of the Ceremony, Professor Anto mentioned that, the Faculty Board could not suspend this year’s event due to the enormous importance attached to the White Coat Ceremony as a tradition which is practiced all over the world. This ceremony is very remarkable in the lives of every Pharmacist and that it is observed to usher students into the profession of this demanding job, he added.
Delivering the keynote address on the theme ‘Pharmacy Practice in a Pandemic,’ the Director of Technical Coordination of the Ministry of Health (MoH) Dr. (Mrs.) Martha Gyansa-Lutterrodt, who joined the ceremony virtually mentioned that the theme chosen for the ceremony is appropriate, in that, Students are transitioning from theory into their clinical years where they are to offer clinical services to their communities.
She mentioned that Pharmacists were part of the front-liners educating the communities about the pandemic and are been deployed to new treatment centres to handle Covid-19 patients. She observed that pharmacists play very important roles at various levels of health delivery system in Ghana.
On the effect of Covid-19, Dr. Gyansa-Lutterrodt revealed that the outbreak of the pandemic has exposed the health sector, hence, the need to step-up reforms in the Pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries to meet the challenge.
The Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Christian Agyare, in his address, stated that the lockdown period presented pharmacists the opportunity to take up wider roles in primary healthcare delivery across the country.
He further mentioned that, as the operational and clinical workflow quickly transformed in response to the pandemic and it is therefore prudent that the informatic systems used within health institutions are updated to reflect up-to-date treatment protocols.
The 5th white Coat Ceremony was proudly sponsored by J.M. Addo & Sons Limited, Amponsah-Efah Pharmaceuticals Limited and the Pharmaceuticals Society of Ghana.