LIBERIA: 7 Senior-Level Employees of LMHRA obtain Doctor of Pharmacy Degree – Management congratulate Graduates for Milestone Achievements

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The Managing Director of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA), and six other senior-level Directors and Managers, on Friday, June 2, 2023, walked out of the state-run University of Liberia School of Pharmacy, obtaining a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree respectively.

Members of the 2022-23 graduating class of the University of Liberia School of Pharmacy are: Dr. Keturah C. Smith-Chineh, LMHRA Managing Director; Dr. Teedoh E. Beyslow, Director of Inspectorate & Post-marketing Surveillance; Dr. Louise Mulbah, Assistant Manager, Registration, Evaluation, Data & Records; Dr. Emmanuel Willie, Director of Registration, Evaluation, Data & Records.

Accordingly, the Doctor of Pharmacy degree obtained by the senior-level LMHRA employees is a result of a special conversion program from a Bachelor of Pharmacy also being offered by the University of Liberia.

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program is being funded by the West African Health Organization (WAHO), as a transitional path to strengthen pharmaceutical education in the sub-region.

Other graduates are Dr. Patricia Quaye-Freeman, former Director of Registration, Evaluations, Data & Records; Dr. Paul D.Y. Higgins, Manager of Post-marketing Surveillance; and Dr. Mary Jallah-Tozoe, Deputy Director, Registration, Evaluation, Data & Records.

Accordingly, the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists—originally the West African Pharmaceutical Federation (WAPF), now the University of Liberia School of Pharmacy- one of the professional schools in the University- was founded in 1986. A sub-regional body of pharmaceutical associations or societies in Anglo-phone West Africa and a specialized agency of the erstwhile West African Health Community (WAHC) were 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 the training. Due to unexplained constraints, the role of supporting pharmacists’ education was left only to the Liberian Government, through the University of Liberia.

The School of Pharmacy has participated in all of the meetings on the 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 professional doctorate program (PharmD.) of no less than six years in duration. From an initial two-man team, the support staff for the school has grown to a sixteen-man group, greatly improving performance-effectiveness and management efficiency.

Meanwhile, the LMHRA Director of Human Resources, Rev. Joseph Redd, extolled the graduates for the milestone in their academic achievements; further admonishing them to use their education for the advancement of the authority and the country.

“We want to use this medium to congratulate these our colleagues and the Managing Director for such a milestone academic feat, we challenge you to use the knowledge acquired to uplift the authority as well as the pharmaceutical sector of the country,” the LMHRA Human Resource Director emphasized.

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