WAPCP Inducts New Fellows at 36th Annual Conference



The West Africa Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP) recently inducted 81 new Fellows into different specialties in Pharmacy.

The college also inducted 12 Fellows by election, two Fellows as honorary, and eight as foundation Fellows from Francophone countries.

The college inducted the new Fellows at its 36th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Symposium held from 15 to 18 April 2024 at the Kairaba Hotel, Banjul, The Gambia. The theme of the conference was “Medicine Safety”. The sub-themes were; “Pharmacovigilance: A regional imperative for operations safety”, and “Pharmaceutical system strengthening: The African challenge”.

The college called on the member nations namely the Nigeria, Ghana, the Gambia, Liberia and sierra Lone to be resolute in engaging robust systems to mitigate against the menace of substandard and falsified medicines as soon as possible.


WAPCP council members during their official visit to the President of the Gambia.

In his address, the President of the college, Alhaji Murtada Sesay, congratulated all the new fellows and urged them to be a good representative of the college. He also charged all Fellows of the college in all member nations to protect the interest of the college.

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“I’m encouraging all of us to continue to promote the mission and vision of the college wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself, especially in the maintenance of our core values of excellence, integrity, innovation, and transparency”, Sesay said.

The president noted that every member nation needs to take medicines safety as priority. According to him, though issue of medicines safety may have been discussed on several occasions over the years, but in view of the fact that as new challenges present, old problems manifest in new guises, there is need to respond intellectually and practically to protect and promote public health.

He said, “The recent problem and evolution of Acute kidney Injury, subsequently associated with consumption of contaminated paediatric syrups, and the consequent deaths of over seventy children here in the Gambia in 2022, is one which promptly engaged the attention and proactive action of our college. Sadly, this is a problem which has occurred in other parts of the world and must be prevented from recurring in our region, and indeed any part of the world.

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“There could not have been a better justification for the theme of our 2024 AGM. I therefore hope that our deliberations on the theme will revisit and expose new avenues for better management of the potential negative outcomes related to medicines safety”.

The president of the Pharmaceutical Society of the Gambia, Mrs Markieu Janneh Kaira, while congratulating the graduating Fellows, urged them to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and professional prowess they have acquired during their rigorous training.

Kaira pointed out in her address that the issues of substandard and falsified medicines is a menace that affects countless number of countries annually and the five member nation of the college are not an exception. She noted that the Gambia fell victim and severely affected in 2022 with the tragic loss of so many young lives.

“This incidence alone highlights the importance and need for governments to strengthen their health systems, especially pharmaceutical and regulatory systems as well as increase the technical workforce so they can effectively execute their mandates to ensure that good quality healthcare services and safe and efficacious medicines are available to the people”, Kaira said.

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The Chairman, Gambia Chapter of the college, Mr Jimmy Olu Coker, pointed out that managing medication can be complicated, particularly drugs that treat different conditions. He stressed the significance of the theme of the symposium on Medicine safety and pharmacovigilance in addressing the misuse and abuse of medicines in the region. He however commended the new Fellows for their dedication even as he welcomed the colleagues from the Francophone countries into the college.

The two keynote addresses delivered by Mr Samba Sowe, representing Professor Pierre Gomez, Gambian Minister of Higher Education and Pharm. Omotayo Hamzat, a WHO representative from Nigeria emphasized the importance of medicine safety in promoting public health.

Professor Olufunsho Awodele, a consultant toxicologist, chairman, Faculty of Public Health Pharmacy, WAPCP and pharmacovigilance programme coordinator, University of Lagos in his presentation on the sub-theme ”Pharmacovigilance: A regional imperative for operations safety”, emphasized the urgent need to mobilise more resources to strengthen the existing pharmacovigilance systems in West Africa.



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