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Guest Blog: Our qualified doctors of pharmacy have not been paid for 7 months

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The Doctor of Pharmacy Programme or PharmD as it is popularly called is a professional doctorate pharmacy programme that involves 6 years of training in an accredited institution which enables one to become a licensed pharmacist by the Pharmacy Council of Ghana (in this case) or an approved body (which is country specific) in order to work in the clinical space.

The PharmD students who graduate go on to write a licensure exam before being qualified to be posted for housemanship that usually lasts one year which is mandatory in order to work as a licensed pharmacist in Ghana.

However, the already arduous training journey has been fraught with extra hurdles such as lack of appointment letters and lack of remuneration for the past 7 months (thus for the current batch who started work on 24th January, 2022).

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In fact, that has allegedly been the order of the day since the first graduating batch of 2018 PharmD houseofficers started work and both their appointment letters and salaries were delayed.

Speaking to Dr. Mizero Hope Florence and another PharmD houseofficer who chooses to remain anonymous, the following information below was gathered about the alleged situation on the ground –

  1. The current Doctor of Pharmacy Houseofficers were issued a letter from the Pharmacy Council concerning mandatory housemanship for newly qualified pharmacists in accordance with Section 85 and 86 of the Health Professionals Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (Act 857) that talks about the mandatory 12-month housemanship at accredited hospitals in Ghana for those who have completed their 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy Programme and passed the Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination. The letter further states that the registered pharmacists have been posted to do their housemanship from the 24th of January, 2022 to the 24th of January, 2023.

  1. Assurances were allegedly given by the Pharmacy Council that the appointment letters of the qualified pharmacists would be available soon but this has not materialized. Hence there does not seem to be any hope that the salaries would arrive soon since the appointment letters have not even been issued.

  1. According to my sources, there have not been interventions to provide stipends for the houseofficers in order to support them in their daily activities. The director of one institution allegedly says it is not possible for stipends to be given out because that would mean singling that group out which is not justifiable. Some institutions also started giving allowances but withdrew due to the lack of appointment letters meaning that the PharmD hosueofficers are technically not recognized by the institution they work for without these appointment letters.

4.The previous batch of PharmD houseofficers also allegedly struggled to get their appointment letters and also get paid but their appointment letters arrived before 7 months.

  1. PharmD house officers get appointment letters from Ministry of health with financial clearance from Ministry of Finance and are allegedly remunerated by the Controller and Accountants General’s Department (CAGD). It is alleged that some PharmD students were made to pay some amounts of money to ensure that their names appear on the Ministry of Health payroll.

  1. There has not been a strike by the houseofficers yet. The group has tried engaging bodies governing the pharmacy practice – Pharmacy council, Pharmaceutical society of Ghana and the young Pharmacists group. The pharmacy director in Ministry of Health was allegedly in attendance of previous meetings but not much has been done to alleviate their plight. The houseofficers were told that the situation was being worked on but no results have been seen so far.

  1. For foreign students/houseofficers, the PharmD houseofficers that belong to this group were allegedly informed by the Pharmacy council that they would receive no remuneration for the housemanship period since they are not Ghanaians. The foreign houseofficers were allegedly told that it is either they forget about being allowed to write their licensure exam alongside their housemanship training or they do their housemanship without pay.

  1. The job description of the PharmD houseofficer is the same as that of the clinical Pharmacist and the average PharmD houseofficer works for about 40hours per week with weekend and night shifts inclusive depending on the department in which one belongs to.

In my opinion, it is not only inhumane to force an individual to work without pay but it is also against the labour laws of Ghana.

Furthermore, the practice of allegedly forcing foreign PharmD hosueofficers to work without pay is unfair since foreign houseofficers (Medical Doctors) qualified to work in Ghana get paid for their work and this practice seems xenophobic. This practice is also against the labour laws of Ghana since Section 68 specifies that “Every worker shall receive equal pay for equal work without distinction of any kind and the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, ethnic origin, creed, colour, religion,  social, or economic status.”

Our pharmacists are torn between the devil and the deep blue sea when it comes to matters of them going on strike (aside being part of the essential workforce) because that would most likely extend their housemanship period for over a year which also has financial implications and there is also a possibility of being victimized and blackballed for those who would want to lead this fight.

As a concerned Medical Doctor, I empathize with our colleagues in the PharmD field because I know how it feels to have a 6-month salary delay and still being expected to show up every day for your patients.

I call on the Pharmacy Council of Ghana, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Controller and Accountants General’s Department, Civil Society Organizations, Media Organizations and other authorities not mentioned but responsible for their remuneration or who could help with sharing their stories to listen to the plight of our pharmacists and ensure that they are paid their due because this all contributes to people in the health sector wanting to emigrate and once again, working without pay is inhumane.

Respectfully, it is time to pay the Piper once again.

By :Dr. Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane.

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People & Lifestyle

Our fundamentals are weak: Lessons from the Global Citizen Festival

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Event organization is an arduous and complex terrain. From conceptualization to the composition of a team, to resource mobilization, to marketing, to delivery, it is such a mammoth task which requires grit. Some people presume event organization as an easy task until they have first-hand experience. Unfortunately, the smooth ecosystem in Ghana to facilitate event organization is virtually non-existent. While industry players and ‘ordinary’ citizens strive to see a miraculous change in new event organizations, a new yardstick has been created – the Global Citizen Festival. (more…)

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Fashion

Meet Ellanore; the Ghanaian fashion brand stapling its name in the hearts of many

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Being uniquely creative in a saturated industry as the fashion industry requires more than just the ability to make a perfect stitch. Just as they say, Imagination encircles the world. Ellanore; a Ghanaian fashion brand through its creative ingenuity is spearheading a new paradigm in today’s fashion space.
Raised in a fashion-obsessed household, Emmanuella Abena Amankwah, an old student of Radford University, the face behind the undisputed brand ELLANORE, has grown to become a household name in the fashion industry while cherishing her desire and strides to make fashion her residence and also, ignite some difference while at it.
Born and raised in Ghana by an affectionate and devoted fashion-oriented mother, Emmanuella, from the get go knew what she wanted, and marked her tracks in achieving that.

Ellanore

Ellanore

Though her ambitions of becoming a seasoned fashion designer were boundless and could not be distracted, she was poised for global excellence and has since worked assiduously towards that.
Her love to create and bring her creative designs to life has been the foundation of her brand. As talented as she is, it is no surprise her outstanding works speak heavily for themselves. Her secret, the desire to see her customers satisfied and happy.
Emmanuella began her fashion brand in 2017 and jumped unto the online platform in the year 2020. She is an all-round fashion designer with great experience in both haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces. She strives to create clothes that are both useful and aesthetically pleasing to stay relevant.
For her, making a perfect garment demands more than just body measurement. The herculean process of creating and making an ideal gown goes through diverse analysis and selection process, including who is wearing it, where it is being worn, and how it must be worn.
While at this, there is also the task of considering materials to work with, as well as a range of colors, designs, accessories, and styles to choose from.
As the creative face behind the Ellanore brand, Emmanuella Abena Amankwah focuses on certain concepts and as a fashion designer, centers on making a statement when it comes to her designs rather than selling out.
According to Abena Amankwah, though the work sometimes can be nerve-racking and stressful, her daughter and family have been her biggest source of inspiration. She however added that it is most fulfilling to receive recommendations from clients who happily wear your brand’s custom-made outfits.
Ella, whose mother takes center stage of her business and growth obviously has got a big shoe to fill, and that she take with pride.
Madam Jane Eck of Janeck Fashion has been a major source of strength to her daughter. Though aged, madam Jane Eck till date, oversees production and plays a role in the affairs of Ellanore. It is no wonder their works exhumes so much life.
Speaking on some challenges associated with her work, the CEO of Ellanore mentioned that with a chunk of her client being foreign-based, it sometimes becomes a challenge to get accurate measurements since you would have to take customers through a guided live video session on how to take body measurements.
Yet, Emmanuella and her team know no limitations, work on all body types and shapes, and nail them all. Even though her brand specializes in making clothes for women, she still has plans on bringing men on board.
As a brand, she specializes in creating clothes which will sway you away, put a smile on your face and leave constantly satisfied. To Emmanuella, her customers are her first and foremost priority.
Her loving and pursuing heart makes her fond of her clients and makes sure they enjoy working with her. Her adventurous spirit creates a satisfying environment to slay on her designs.
She aims at adding beautiful touches to her work from size 6 down to even a size 22. She hammers the word neat in her job description and makes it professional.
Ellanore has been in the fashion design industry for 5 years and she’s not stopping until her dream of becoming a world-known fashion label becomes a reality.
By : William Lamptey
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People & Lifestyle

Kenya’s Jennifer Riria to be Honoured as Model African Woman of the Year 2022 by YAWC

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The Group Chief Executive Officer of Echo Network Africa (ENA), formerly Kenya Women Holding which is a woman led, women serving development institution has been nominated to be honoured at the 6th Annual Continental Convocation of the Young African Women Congress (YAWC) which is set to take place in Accra, Ghana from 2nd to 6th October, 2022 under the theme, “Network for Empowerment: Eliminating Barriers to Women’s Development”.

She will be honoured in relation to her interventions in improving the socio-economic situation of women and girls in Kenya, having been admitted into the EY Global Hall of Fame.

A special event dubbed, “Jennifer Riria Day” will be held in her honour on Tuesday 4th October within the period of the congress.

Dr Riria is distinguished as a Microfinance Banker and Practitioner, Researcher and Gender Specialist. She has led Kenya Women Finance Trust Microfinance (KWFT) Bank for over three decades, and propelled it from an unprofitable NGO to a medium sized Bank, serving low income women and their families all over the Kenya. KWFT has served over 3 million women and disbursed over US$ 3 billion over a period of 30 years. As the CEO she spearheaded the transformation of KWFT from a microfinance institution to a regulated middle-sized bank (2004-2009).

She has served in many other leadership roles both in financial, public, and health institutions for which she has been recognised locally and internationally. Dr Riria is the Patron of the Democracy Trust Fund (DTF) a semi-autonomous organization that supports and positions women to participate in democratic processes. Additionally, Dr Riria is the Chairperson of the Africa Women Leaders Network – Kenyan Chapter. Recently she re-launched the “Jennifer Riria Foundation” whose focus is to enhance young women’s leadership through innovations and connecting them with the private sector. Working with and touching people’s life is her passion. Dr. Riria served on many Boards including the Women’s World Bank Board which is an international microfinance network of microfinance institutions and banks for 21 years, which she was the Chairperson.

The “Jennifer Riria Day” will be the second in a series of events to recognise and celebrate astute women of Africa for their contributions to women empowerment for national and global impact. The first, having been conferred on the first female Chief of Staff of the Republic of Ghana, Hon. Akosua Frema Osei Opare in 2019. The day is specifically named after the woman proposed to be celebrated at the specific congress to leave an imprint on the minds of delegates on the achievements of the honouree.

The Young African Women Congress is a Pan-African event opened to young women of African descent. It is a platform which fosters knowledge-sharing and cultural exchanges among nations and generations. Major activities at the congress include Keynote Presentation, Panel Sessions, Career Workshops, Group Brainstorming Sessions as well as Project Story Presentations by delegates. There is also a full day trip to interesting sites to promote Africa’s heritage and tourism.

Its main objective is captured in its motto: Empowering Women for Continental Development and Integration for a Better World.

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People & Lifestyle

Ghana’s new dancing super-talent, Endurancegrand steps into the light with her effervescence

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Dance With Purpose Academy (DWP) have established themselves as one of the best producers of dance talent on the African continent. One of their most exciting prospects emerging on the scene is Endurancegrand.

Born Endurance Dzigbordi Dedzo, the dancing queen who has been stepping gracefully to the rhythm since she was 7-years old has already performed on some of the biggest stages in the country including the VGMA, TV3, Coca Cola, Ghana Football Awards, Ghana’s Most Beautiful and most recently, The Global Citizen Festival: Accra as part of the DWP Academy collective during Usher’s show-stopping performance. To top that impressive feat, she has also worked with brands like AirtelTigo and Dark & Lovely.

Endurancegrand’s interest in dance was piqued by her brother-in-law, Joshua Rana, back when she was just a kid who loved playing football, video games and singing; and she has never looked back since. For her, dancing has never been just a job or a simple means to an end, dancing has always been the “end” itself, her north star. “I faced neglect, doubt and lost some people very close to me because I chose dance as a career but that did not stop me because I always knew what I wanted. To me, dancing is just as important as the air I breathe or the water I drink. Dancing is my life! When I step on the stage, nothing else makes sense. Only my body and the rhythms and energy it releases”, Endurance describing what dancing means to her.

The Capricorn dancer’s biggest dream is to be able to touch lives globally, travel around the world to share her knowledge to the young and old and show women around the world that they can be whatever they choose to be.

Dance with Endurancegrand on her socials and keep up with what will be a very majestic career. Instagram: endurancegrand | TikTok: endurancegrand | Twitter: EnduranceGrand

Instagram: endurancegrand
Twitter: @EnduranceGrand
TikTok: endurancegrand 
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People & Lifestyle

Understanding probable cause

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Probable Cause vs Reasonable Suspicion DWI in

Probable cause refers to a legal basis that gives the police officer a chance to arrest a person, seize property, or conduct a search. This originates from the United States constitution Fourth Amendment. So what is probable cause? (more…)

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People & Lifestyle

Global publisher to release first graphic novels from South Africa’s award-winning Triggerfish Animation Studios

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North American independent book publisher Catalyst Press will publish two graphic novels from Cape Town’s world-renowned animation studio next year, its first venture into the literary sphere. (more…)

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