A representative of the graduating class of the 95th Commencement Convocation of the University of Liberia (UL), has called on the government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW), and the UL Administration to establish a post-graduate degree granting pharmacy program.
If established, George Saye Dokie, Jr., a student of the Pharmacy School, believes the program would enable pharmacists in the country to further specialize in the field.
Afterwards, he said, pharmacists would be better positioned to make meaningful contributions to the health delivery sector.
Mr. Dokie made the recommendation on Tuesday, December 17, in Monrovia at a program marking the 15th Oath and Honors of graduating pharmacists from the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the UL.
“It is sad to note that Liberia is the only country in the West African sub-region that is still only offering a bachelor of pharmacy degree. That is why we are calling on the government to start a post-graduate pharmacy degree program,” student Dokie recommended on behalf of the graduating class.
Dokie observed that should the recommendation be implemented, it would go a long way towards boosting the healthcare delivery services of the country.
He also called on major stakeholders in the health sector including foreign partners to help bring he and his colleagues’ wish to fruition.
According to Dokie, most people see the pharmacist profession as non-essential as it relates to other fields in the health sector of Liberia.
A situation, he observed, that is not healthy for the health care delivery process.
“A pharmacist, he said, “will be sent in leeward counties without transportation, housing, and other vital facilities; whereas our partners, particularly the physicians, will be provided similar facilities, such as transportation, healthy stipends, etc.”
“A situation which does not bode well for the future of our health care system, as it may jeopardize the full achievement of the health care goals set by the government,” Dokie added.
Following Mr Dokie’s comments, the UL president, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, informed the graduating students that his administration has crafted documents for the degree program.
He then stressed the need for adequate resources for the upbringing of faculty, which he observed, is one of the limited factors at the UL.
“I am proud of the graduating class for their professional and personal outlook, and will look into their recommendation and see where the need exists for intervention.”
Several other pharmacists, including the professors, were honored during Tuesday’s ceremony for their punctuality, dress code, personal bearing, and presentation of lessons.
The dean of the School of Pharmacy, Professor Jacob A. Kolawole, recommended to relevant authorities of government that they secure the health sector and protect it by removing impediments from all corners.
Earlier in his keynote address, the Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the UL, Cllr. David A.B. Jallah, urged the prospective graduates to avoid many of the health professional organizations that are often in the habit of instituting strike actions.
He called on them to remain professional and to engage stakeholders constructively in the case of any disagreement on issues relative to their professional welfare.
“Remain in the arena of the health sector as trained professionals, even if you should travel, but again, continue to study. This will enable you to meet the challenges in today’s medical world where new inventions and researches are hallmarks of the profession.”