About 26 pharmacy students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and four professional workers will be embarking on the second edition of the Advance Pharmacy Initiative in Florida’s Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), USA, this year.
The exchange programme which has been described as an ambitious agenda for deepening bilateral relations between Ghana and Florida, USA, through health education for university students, will be targeted at allowing students and participants to acquaint themselves with current trends in global health care systems.
It will focus on disease epidemics, modern pharmaceutical practices, cultural exchanges and environmental issues, and will be aimed at improving the knowledge capacity of the students about health system to enable them give back to their country upon successful completion of the programme.
The lead initiator of the programme, FAMU’s College of Pharmacy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the sister university in Ghana – KNUST to explore exchange programmes in the area of pharmacy education for students from both countries to study abroad, relating to academic and research affiliations.
Dr. Yussif Mijirah Dokurugu, DrPH, MPH, MA, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and faculty Advisor of Student Association of Global Health College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at FAMU, who is currently in Ghana on Medical leave initiated the programme last year with 13 KNUST students, hopes to expand it in collaboration with KNUST.
Talking about the initiative in Accra, he confirmed that it is an ambitious agenda being explored by the school, “one that the college is tackling through an academic and cultural exchanges to broaden the horizon of the next generation of health care practitioners.”
He anticipates that the selected students from both sides will be offered the chance to get a better understanding of the best practices and systems that are in place in both nations, and allow them to bring back new ideas.
Dr. Dokurugu adding that “overseas study adventure provides students with distinct benefits as they develop responsibility, initiative and accountability.”
“I want them to learn as much as possible to be able to contribute positively to the health care delivery of every single person they may come across in their future practices back at home.”
He indicated that the engagement will explore various areas of collaboration including students exchange programmes and partnership with other celebrated health experts in the United States of America,” he added.
“As the Institute of Public Health within the College continues to grow, this internship programme will provide an opportunity for FAMU to add to a diverse workforce of individuals to be able to analyse public health issues both at home and abroad,” said Dr. Dokurugu.
The programme, he said has been designed to give the students first-hand experience in global health issues. It will also provide them with a spring-board at competing for jobs in the field.
“This will position the participating students to be fully equipped for employment in their selected programmes, governmental and non-governmental agencies where a knowledge of international systems is pertinent to jobs, even in the USA,” he remarked.
By:Georgina Ama Otoo