Liberian Pharmacists Celebrate the Profession

MONROVIA, Montserrado – At a program marking World Pharmacist Day at the A. M. Dogliotte College of Medicine, a clinical pharmacist has called on Liberian pharmacists to do more than “push cartons” around health facilities.

George Sorbor said, “If Liberian pharmacists must succeed, they must go deeper into healthcare research and patient care.”

Sorbor said the field of pharmacy is evolving and Liberians must be prepared to adapt. He said pharmacists in the country needed to be engaged in helping their patients manage chronic conditions, including diabetes and hypertension.

“They must learn to improve their patients’ quality of life,” he added.

Pharmacists, who are the healthcare experts responsible for drug therapy, should understand that “dispensing and counseling can never be rule out in the profession,” Sorbor said.

George Sorbor, a clinical pharmacist, gave the keynote address at the event marking World Pharmacist Day. Photo: Zeze Ballah

While Liberian pharmacists often do not get the same amount of attention as doctors and nurses, a pharmacist from the Tubmanburg Government Hospital was recognized as the 2016 Integrity Idol winner. The program recognizes honest civil servants.

Janday Fahnbullah, a student pharmacist at the A. M. Dogliotte College of Medicine told The Bush Chicken that Liberians are not well educated about the profession, adding that the celebration of the day will allow people to “understand that indeed the profession exists.”

According to Fahnbulleh, this is the first time that World Pharmacists Day has been officially celebrated in Liberia.

“Some students never knew that there exists a unique day the world over,” she added.

Janday Fahnbullah, a pharmacy student. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Fahnbullah outlined some of the challenges faced by students at the School of Pharmacy, including the lack of well-equipped laboratory, trained clinical pharmacists, and modern textbooks. But she said, “Amid the challenges, students’ minds are made up of becoming pharmacists in order to make a change in the country.”

She appealed to the government for more foreign-trained instructors.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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