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[e-drug] Community service for young pharmacists (cont'd)

  • From: Francis Aboagye-Nyame <GNDP@ighmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 05:44:40 -0500 (EST)

E-drug: Community service for young pharmacists (cont'd)

I tend to support the view that community service for young
pharmacists is a useful exercise not only for the community but also
for the young pharmacists themselves. Ghana, in 1988 adopted a
3-year post registration (i.e. post internship) "community service" with
the aim of boosting the number of pharmacists in the public sector.
This was reduced to a 1-year service and eventually abolished in

Analysis of the effect of this directive shows that, yes the numbers in
the service increased, however, because service conditions were
altogether not good, it did not help the morale of the young
professional, hence the push to and eventual abandoning of the
programme. Some of us who were literally forced to stay in the public
service had no alternative but to improve ourselves and seek to
change the status quo with some level of success. This I can say is a
potential benefit to the young pharmacist who otherwise will not have
pursued professional development in the private sector that does not
mostly offer such opportunities.

After the service was abandoned in Ghana, we have seen a rush of
the young pharmacists into the private sector with high hopes of
making it in a short while, which are mostly not fulfilled as expected,
leading to further demoralisation of the professional and poor attitude
towards service. The public sector in Ghana is currently mostly
manned by the "old" guys and the ones who, having been forced to
stay, stayed.

One must quickly add that for such a programme to succeed, the
service conditions must be good enough to retain the pharmacists in
the sector, else the eventual result will be a lowering of morale and a
big push to derail the programme as we have experienced in Ghana.

Francis Aboagye-Nyame
Deputy Programme Manager
Ghana National Drugs Programme
Ministry of Health
P. O. Box MB-582
Accra, Ghana

Tel/Fax: (233)-21-664309
E-mail: gndp@ighmail.com

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