How to Become a Pharmacist in Ghana
To become a Pharmacist is in Ghana is not very easy, you will need all the patience in the world, you will need to be smart since you will be working with medicines and attending to the health of individuals.
You’re probably thinking about becoming a Pharmacist and you want to know how to go about it, what your requirements should be and how long it would take, but why choose Pharmacy? Do you have a passion for it? Are you ready to go through 6 to 8 years of education?
Requirements to enter Pharmacy School in Ghana
Below are the requirements to get to any pharmacy school of your choice.
You should have studied science in school, that way, your biology, chemistry, and physics are intact. To get into a university that offers a pharmacy course, you will need at least credit scores (C6) in three core subjects which include English Language, Mathematics and Integrated Science, and another three credit scores(at least C6) in your electives which includes, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Mathematics.
For international students, they can submit International Baccalaureate (IB), International General Certificate of Secondary Education(IGCSE), or General Certificate of Education (GCE). Other certificates that are equivalent to WASSCE can be accepted.
Schools that offer Pharmacy Related Courses in Ghana
There are six accredited schools in Ghana that are competing with each other to teach and train the best and most qualified pharmacists in the country.
They have state-of-the-art laboratories for practicals and qualified tutors in the field to teach students. The schools are;
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST)
- University of Developmental Studies(UDS), Tamale.
- University of Ghana, Legon
- Central University
- University of Health And Allied Sciences (UHAS)
- Entrance University College of Health
Any of these schools will take you in and train you for the future if you have what it takes.
Programmes related to Pharmacy in Ghana Explained
First, you can take a bachelor’s degree course in Pharmacy (B Pharm). It takes four years. After getting your degree, you can become any of the following, a drug inspector, pharmacist. You can also get into pharmaceutical marketing, quality control, and production, and you can even set up your own business.
You can go further to take a Doctor in Pharmacy degree (Pharm D), it comes with its role and responsibilities, and usually takes 7 years, thus, 3 years after B Pharm.
The next is M Pharm, masters. This will take you another 2 years after B Pharm. 1-year academy and 1-year research.
You can choose to settle for B Pharm. It’s less expensive, you need only 4 years and you’re a pharmacist, but if you believe in climbing up the educational ladder, go ahead and take the other two programs.
What happens after school, how much will you get paid as a Pharmacist
When you are in school, there is a compulsory internship program you will take to help you get accustomed to the area around pharmacy, you will learn a lot of things. Stocktaking, retail, dispensary, and a lot more. You can choose to set up your own pharmacy shop if you have the means or work under someone else.
Before anything else, you will need to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to become a practicing pharmacist.
Pharmacists are paid hourly. Sounds good, doesn’t it? They are paid hourly and their salary ranges from GHS 2,000 to GHS 9,000, that is if you are working under someone. Imagine setting up your own business, which isn’t very easy but the benefits that with it are worth it.
Setting up your own place can be a real hustle, from finding a strategic location to finding trusted means of getting good and certified medicines. There are various distributors here in Ghana but you can choose to order your medicines from abroad, as long as you have the right means.
The Pharmaceutical industry is thriving, take chances. Studying science in school will not always guarantee you being a medical doctor, go to the university and take a Pharmacy course, earn your degree, start working, and get paid every hour. It is one of the fields where employment isn’t a big deal, as long as the business is thriving.
If you think Pharmacy will be too difficult or expensive for you, you can always take six months Medicine Counter Assistantship course, where you will be thought many things that can help you work effectively in a Pharmacy. It is less expensive and will land you a respectable job. The good thing about Medicine Counter Assistantship jobs is that they run in shifts, so you can always find a side job if you want to.
For more information on the programmes, contact any of the institutions above to understand what it takes and how to get admission. Share this article with anyone who may be thinking about becoming a pharmacist in the future.