Achievements of the School of Pharmacy
The School of Pharmacy, University of Liberia (UL), one of the professional schools in the University was founded in 1986. The West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists— originally the West African Pharmaceutical Federation (WAPF)—a sub-regional body of Pharmaceutical Associations/Societies in the Anglophone West Africa and West African Health Community (WAHC) which has been subsumed into the West African Health Organization (WAHO) was instrumental in its founding. Initially, the School of Pharmacy was established to develop human resources in the pharmaceutical sector in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia, with the hope that the governments of those countries would share in the cost of providing necessary facilities for the training of Pharmacists in the region. Due to unexplained constraints, the role of funding the running of the School was, however, left only to the Liberian Government, through the University of Liberia. While the ambition of being a regional training ground for Pharmaceutical man power could not be achieved, the School has been producing Pharmacists for Liberia and the World, since inception. The School has about two hundred graduates in and around Liberia.
The School of Pharmacy of the University of Liberia shares facilities with the campus of the University’s Congo town-based A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine. Congo Town is one of the sectors of Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.
The mission of the School of Pharmacy is to improve health among Liberians and other nationals through health services and other drug-related research, education, service and community outreach based on sound education.
The School aspires to attain and maintain top position in the league of Pharmacy Schools and Faculties and Colleges in the West African Region; to produce graduates that are sufficiently independent for future academic and professional pursuits and to build an academic environment that is conducive for research and development.
For the fulfillment of the Mission and Vision above, and to meaningfully contribute to The
Millennium Development Goals (MDs) particularly N0s 1, 4, 5 and 6, and the President of the
University declares that the University of Liberia should among top twenty universities in West Africa in seven years (top 20 in 7), the Pharmacy student at end of the program must have possessed the following competencies;
5.1 The Bachelor of Pharmacy Program of the School has the following Departments:
The School has a total student population of ninety-eight (98) and staff strength of twenty-seven (27), of which are twenty academic staff; seventeen (17) full time and seventeen (13) part-time and seven (7) non-academic staffers. This is grossly inadequate for proper training of students.
6.1 Since the inception of classes in the School on June 16, 1986, out of the total enrollment volume of about 335 students, the School has graduated 231 students during twenty cycles of commencement exercises but lost eight students due to death.
The adequate training of pharmacists by the School of Pharmacy has relatively improved the health services in the country by deploying pharmacists in the 15 counties and in some major public health facilities.
6.2 The School participated in all of the meetings on harmonization of Pharmacy curricula (i.e., educating and training of pharmacists) in the West African Sub-region, one of which culminated in a consensus that the undergraduate training of pharmacists (following completion of high school) should consist of a bachelor degree program in Pharmacy (B. Pharm.) lasting four years or a professional doctorate degree program (PharmD.) of no less than six years in duration.
6.3 Through negotiation, both on its own and through the generosity of some individual persons, organizations, and agencies (e.g., the USA-based Mission to Liberia; HEART; PRSAO/West African Regional Health Program; National Malaria Control Program of Liberia/NMCP; USAID-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) program; Boston University; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Pharmaceutical Systems Africa), the School has received a number of donations and has been assured of further support including capacity building. The Liberian Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), the World Bank and the Chinese Government have also contributed to the School’s success. Key contributors among these are USAID-funded SPS and the Global Fund that made the provision of funding for the revision of this current curriculum.
6.4 From an initial two-man team, the School has grown to twenty-seven (27) man power, of which are twenty academic staff; seventeen (17) full time and seventeen (13) part-time and seven (7) non-academic staffers., greatly improving performance-effectiveness and management efficiency.
The School of Pharmacy has tremendously improved during the past five years in faculty development. Before 2013, all of the academic staff were just Bachelor of Pharmacy degree holders teaching bachelor students. But the paradigm shift in faculty qualification has been realized and the School is staffed with at least 11 master degree holders in various disciplines and thus providing quality pharmacy education that allows the graduates to compete with other health providing counterparts.
More in faculty development there are over six persons acquiring their graduate degree studies in Nigeria with one doing PhD program in pharmacy practice.
6.5 The School of Pharmacy collaborates with the School of Medicine through faculty exchange and the preclinical courses of both schools are commonly taught by faculty in their specialty.
6.6 The greatest achievement comes in the wake of the University of Liberia’s Faculty Senate approving the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum for possible implementation in the next academic year (2019/2020).
The School is the only one offering Pharmacy education in the whole of Liberia. Reports on the products of the School, reaching us, from some sectors of the practice of Pharmacy, have been positive.
However, there are wide gaps to be filled in view of current wave of global pharmacy education and practice.
7.1 The various sectors of Pharmacy practice in Liberia are grossly ill-staffed both in quantity and quality. The School of Pharmacy could and would adequately address the identified gaps for the benefit of Liberians and the world, if its aspirations, visions and missions are supported.
7.2 Lack of systematic academic staff development plan
7.3 Inadequacy of shared building facility for classes and laboratories
7.4 Non-availability of laboratory equipment, chemicals, solvent and reagents
7.5 Non-availability of neither Postgraduate degree programs nor support to start one (e.g.
MSc in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacology & Toxicology)
7.6 Inability to provide adequate accommodation/recreation facilities to students
7.7 Inadequate transportation for externship students and school use 7.8 Non-availability of internet facility for staff/faculty and students
7.9 Implementation of budget and supplementary budget.
Ezekiel F. Hallie
School of Pharmacy
Released: December 17th, 2018 12:55 AM