Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Health » Caribbean pharmacists meet in Belize
Aug 18, 2004

Caribbean pharmacists meet in Belize

Story Picture
Two weeks ago Caribbean broadcasters gathered in Placencia for their annual assembly. Today the region’s pharmacists–far greater in number–began their yearly gettogether in Belize City. News 5?s Patrick Jones has the story.

Patrick Jones, Reporting

Pharmacists from across the region began their weeklong convention with a call to maintain focus on professional development. President of the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists Ellen Grizzle says a number of issues are on the agenda for the twenty-fourth Annual Convention.

Ellen Grizzle, President, Caribbean Association of Pharmacists

“We’ll be talking about pharmacy, it’s social value to the region, both in terms of research and practice, we’ll be talking about the business of our association, and how we can incorporate it and take advantage of some of the opportunities we expect under the Caribbean Single Market and economy and other opportunities that are out there. We’ll be doing education; we’ll be talking about HIV/AIDS substance abuse, hypertension, diabetes, sickle cell disease, and a range of clinical issues and may of the clinical issues and many of the other aspects of the presentations will be done by people who live in Belize.”

While eminent Belizeans in the medical field will lead the discussions, president of the host association Leza Smith Humes says the convention is part of a continuing education process and an opportunity for participants to stay abreast of the latest medical developments.

Leza Smith-Humes, President, Pharmacists Association of Belize

“As technology advances, so does health care advance and there are newer drugs. With every new day there are newer drugs on the market. And because we are not in school physically every day we have to have sessions whereby pharmacists can be introduced to the newer products in the market as well as new technology to deal with health care.”

The convention includes the participation of drugs manufacturers and suppliers from Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand many of whom are trying to get their products into the Caribbean. Humes says while the role of the pharmacist is to link the patient, doctor and medication, in the case of Belize, many times the relationship goes further.

Leza Smith-Humes

“Once that patient is over dealing with the doctor and he has written he prescription then it’s up to us to go through that prescription with that patient, provide their medication for them and explain the right way to take these mediations.”

Patrick Jones

“The pharmacist then is not a substitute doctor?”

Leza Smith-Humes

“No we are not. We are not. But presently a lot of the local pharmacists are. Because of economical status of the society a lot of the pharmacists have to act as doctors to a certain level, and should not be going beyond that level.”

That level, Smith says, should not proceed beyond the common cold or cough in most cases and that serious diseases and conditions are to be referred to a doctor. For the twenty-eight year old organization, Grizzle says the biggest challenge facing the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists today, is finding a permanent resting place.

Ellen Grizzle

“That is a challenge for this meeting, that we must make a decision where we are going to put our home. Because you know times have changed and you can?t have organization moving from island to island every year as presidents change, the other thing is to provide services to our members. And I think in third order, service subset, and educational opportunities because in the region we have accepted that the bachelor of pharmacy degree is the minimum entry level qualification into the profession. There are many pharmacists who don’t have that. And so we must provide the opportunity for them, if they wish.”

Patrick Jones, for News Five.

On Saturday night, Belizean Lydia Harris-Thurton will be honoured by the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists for her years of dedicated service to the profession. Harris-Thurton is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Allied Health and Nursing at the University of Belize.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

You must be logged in to post a comment Login