A novelty partnership between academia and industry which will provide industry the opportunity to make direct inputs in the training of pharmacists has been launched at the University of Ghana Legon.
Under the partnership, which is dubbed the 'Development Partners Project', the university hopes to avoid irrelevant teaching and training at the newly established School of Pharmacy of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon.
At the launch of the partnership in Accra, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Clifford N. B. Tagoe, told representatives of pharmaceutical companies, that "since we are producers and you are consumers of our products, it will be a prudent business strategy for you to specify your preferred product characteristics so that we deliver accordingly".
Prof. Tagoe stated that the new partnership that had an investment thrust will have a significant impact on the professional performance of graduates at the workplace as they will require little or no retraining to deliver service.
"The role of the business community in this venture is that of an investor. They will resource the school by way of infrastructure, teaching and research equipment, books and Information and Communication Technology (lCT) facilities, to enable the school train the students as they, from time to, time, prescribe," Prof. Tagoe stated.
He explained that the University Of Ghana School Of Pharmacy would engage the business community and industrialists at all levels of the training process, through regular interactions, to ensure that investments were well applied to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.
Prof. Tagoe stated that when the university was founded in 1948, its statutory mandate was to develop human capital at the very highest level for the nation's social and economic development.
"In the discharge of this mandate, the university has from time to time, introduced new programmes of study to meet the manpower needs of the country," he said.
He said one of the critical areas of manpower development of the country, was the health sector, which includes pharmacy.
He said that sector was probably the hardest hit by the scourge of brain drain and that with the Health Insurance Scheme now in place, more pharmacists would be required to provide pharmaceutical services.
The President of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (PMAG), Dr Michael Addo, expressed the hope that the partnership would go a long way to influence the academic training of the students to make them more responsible professionals.
He said members of the association would make their industries available for vacation training of the students, and also offer visiting lectureships and support in the form of equipment and other materials.
He urged private companies, financial institutions as well as stakeholders in the health profession to be on board, saying, "We are looking forward into the not too distant future when the products of this school will spearhead a revolution in the health care delivery system in this country, whereby most of the basic drugs, both orthodox and herbal, will be produced locally and marketed and distributed globally," he stated.
Dr Addo also cautioned the youth against irresponsible lifestyles, which he said were contributing to many deaths among the youth.
He said some young people tried to enhance their muscular strength with steroids to become "macho" men; their brain power with stimulants like amphetamines, deep coffee and marijuana; their sexual desires with aphrodisiacs and their work performance with energy boosting tablets and drinks.
He explained that such drugs had the potential to affect the heart, which is the engine of the body, and when the heart fails, everything ceases to work.
Source: Daily Graphic